Astronaut Kimbrough \"Touches Down\" at Tech

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On Friday, June 26th, Army Lt. Col. Shane Kimbrough (MS OR, 1998) returned to campus to speak about his recent trip to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Last November's mission marked the first trip into orbit for the Atlanta native, who attended The Lovett School.

Kimbrough was in town for NASA's Hometown Heroes 2009 Campaign, a program that brings astronauts to their home states to share the exciting message of continued space exploration and scientific research represented by the ISS. Aboard the STS-126 mission, which was popularly dubbed the "Extreme Makeover: Space Station Edition," he performed two spacewalks and assisted the crew in installing upgrades and expanding the space station's capabilities. In particular, the crew installed a new toilet with a water purification system that will allow the ISS to support a crew of up to six people.

A crowd of over 200 Georgia Tech faculty, students, and guests filled the Student Center Theatre for Kimbrough's presentation on July 26. He introduced the audience to the ISS's facilities and crew, which included fellow Georgia Tech graduates Eric Boe (MS EE, 1997) and Sandra Magnus (PhD MSE, 1996). At the end of his presentation, he opened up the floor to the audience for a question-and-answer session in which he fielded inquiries about the launch sequence, his spacewalks, his typical workday in space, and his acclimation to low-gravity. Afterward, the astronaut signed autographs for the audience in attendance, many of whom were local children attending on-campus engineering summer camps.

Kimbrough's visit to Georgia Tech was hosted through the College of Engineering by the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. A 40-minute video of the presentation has been made available through the SMARTech repository online. For more information, please see:


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    Barbara Christopher
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    Fletcher Moore
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