Thursday, April 30, 2009

Veteran space walker will celebrate fellow Chicago Allumnus Hubble's other legacy on repair mission

John Grunsfeld will take Edwin Hubble's
100 year-old basketball into orbit on STS-125

From Steve Koppes -
Chicago Chronicle News Office (Excerpt)

Grunsfeld had borrowed the basketball from the Department of Physical Education and Athletics, with Turner serving as intermediary, so that he could fly it into orbit. He plans to return the basketball personally to the University after the mission, when it will go on display at the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center.

Grunsfeld grew up near the University’s campus on Chicago’s South Side, where Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi oversaw construction of the first nuclear reactor during World War II.

“I was inspired as a young man by the exploits of Enrico Fermi as a scientist and as a mountaineer in the Dolomites, and he became a role model for me,” said Grunsfeld, who studied physics at Chicago.

Before joining NASA in 1992, he had amassed research experience in X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, high-energy cosmic ray studies and the development of new detectors and instrumentation. Grunsfeld has since used the Hubble Telescope in his own research. As NASA’s chief scientist from 2003 to 2004, Grunsfeld helped develop the President’s Vision for Space Exploration.
Read the article HERE.

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