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Shuttle Astronaut Dr. Steven Hawley To Speak at Cosmosphere’s Monthly Continuing Education Series

Hutchinson, Kan. – July 17, 2014, at 9 a.m., the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center’s monthly Coffee at the Cosmo lecture series welcomes NASA shuttle astronaut Steven Hawley, Ph.D., as a distinguished guest speaker. Presented every third Thursday morning, Coffee at the Cosmo provides lifelong learners of all ages with insightful continuing educational programming from the Cosmosphere’s Education staff, Collections department, and outside experts.

This installment of Coffee at the Cosmo is titled Remembering STS-93: The 15th Anniversary, and will focus on Dr. Hawley’s reflections of the mission that launched the Chandra X-ray Observatory into high Earth orbit. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. Chandra was designed to observe X-rays from high-energy regions of the universe, such as the remnants of exploded stars. Chandra’s improved sensitivity makes possible more detailed studies of black holes, supernovas, and dark matter and increases our understanding of the origin, evolution, and destiny of the universe. STS-93 was the 95th space shuttle launch and the 26th launch of Columbia. This mission saw Eileen Collins become the first female shuttle Commander, and was the last mission of Columbia until March 2002 and Dr. Hawley’s final shuttle flight. Crew members included Eileen Collins, Commander; Jeff Ashby, Pilot; Steven Hawley, Ph.D., Mission Specialist; Catherine Coleman, Mission Specialist; and Michel Tognini, Mission Specialist.

Dr. Steven Hawley graduated from Salina High School and earned Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Kansas before earning his Ph.D in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of California. In 1978, he was selected as a NASA astronaut, and flew on five shuttle missions (STS-41D, STS-61C, STS-31, STS-82, STS-93), logging over 770 hours in space. Before retiring from NASA in 2008, he served as Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office, Deputy Director and Director of Flight Crew Operations, First Chief Astronaut for the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, and Director of Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science. Dr. Hawley is currently a professor of Physics and Astronomy and Chair of Engineering Physics at the University of Kansas, and Astronaut Advisor to the Cosmosphere.

Coffee at the Cosmo is presented every third Thursday at 9 a.m. in the banquet room at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. The next installment in the 2014 lecture series, Remembering STS-93: The 15th Anniversary will be July 17. No reservations are required to attend, though groups of 15 or more are encouraged to make advanced reservations. Admission is free to the public, with coffee and donuts provided. Visit cosmo.org for a complete schedule of events. Coffee at the Cosmo is made possible, in part, by the Delos V. Smith Senior Citizens Foundation and Center.