Astronaut Mark L. Polansky to appear at Purdue Space Day 2008

Purdue University alumnus and serving astronaut Commander Mark L. Polansky has committed to share his experiences at the 13th annual Purdue Space Day to be held on Purdue's West Lafayette campus on Saturday, November 8th 2008.

Polansky, a 1978 graduate of the School of Aeronautics & Astronautics, is a veteran of two space shuttle missions and has logged over 618 hours in space.

He is assigned to command the crew of shuttle, Endeavour for STS-127 in April 2009, which will deliver the Japanese-built Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) and the Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section (ELM-ES) to the International Space Station. 

Run entirely by university students, Purdue Space Day is a free all-day program designed to give students in 3rd to 8th grades the opportunity to learn about astronautical engineering and space exploration through a presentation by a Purdue alumnus astronaut and by participating in three unique, hands-on experiences with the intention of sparking interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).                          

Student volunteers are multidisciplinary as the event draws students from engineering and other disciplines.  

Purdue Space Day is hosted by the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is sponsored by the Indiana Space Grant Consortium. Other sponsors include; DaimlerChrysler, United Technologies, Purdue Engineering Student Council, NASA Johnson Space Center, NASA Kennedy Space Center, Caterpillar Inc. and Sylvan Learning Center.