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NASA astronaut to speak about his career, time aboard the International Space Station
NASA astronaut to speak about his career, time aboard the International Space StationApril 13, 2005Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
NASA astronaut E. Michael “Mike” Fincke, who returned to Earth in October 2004 after a six-month mission on the International Space Station, will visit Syracuse University April 18 as a guest of the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS).
Fincke will speak to elementary and high school students at 10 a.m. in the Kilian Room, Room 500 of the Hall of Languages. The lecture is geared toward students, but is open to the general public. Students who plan to attend must register on the Web at www.ecs.syr.edu. Free parking will be available in the Irving Garage. He will speak to SU students at 12:45 p.m. in Room 107 of the Hall of Languages. The afternoon lecture is open to members of the University community only.
Fincke will conclude his day in Syracuse at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) in downtown Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. He will draw a winning name for a trip for two to the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., offered through the MOST’s “Flying” program; and answer questions from the audience.
“We are very pleased to welcome Mike to Syracuse University, to share his experiences as an engineer and an astronaut with our students and young people in our greater community,” says Eric F. Spina, Douglas D. Danforth Dean of the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. “His visit may very well inspire others to reach for the stars, just as he did.”
During his early years in Pennsylvania, Fincke was captivated watching men walk on the moon during the Apollo missions. His road to space was paved withhard work, including a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree from Stanford University and a second master’s degree in physical sciences from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. As a member of the U.S. Air Force, Fincke served as a space systems engineer and a space test engineer. He was a flight test engineer, flying F-16 and F-15 aircraft, and earned the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In early 1996, Fincke served as the U.S. flight test liaison to the Japanese/United States XF-2 fighter program. Later that year, he has selected by NASA for the astronaut program. After he completed training, Fincke was assigned duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch, serving as an International Space Station Communicator (ISS CAPCOM), a member of the crew test support team in Russia and as the ISS crew procedures team lead.
His first flight in space began April 18, 2004, aboard the ISS Expedition-9, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft that was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked with the ISS on April 21. As the NASA space station science officer and flight engineer, Fincke performed ISS science operations and maintained station systems. He also performed four spacewalks. The mission concluded with Expedition-9’s safe landing in Kazakhstan on Oct. 23, 2004. During his 187 days in space, Fincke’s wife, Renita, gave birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter named Tarali. She was the first child to be born while an astronaut parent was in orbit.