05 Lindsay Crouch Phone: (757) 864-3189, (757) 870-6912, (mobile) MEDIA ADVISORY: 05-078 NASA BRINGS VISION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION TO SOUTH CAROLINA

Former Astronaut Charles Bolden Jr. and NASA Langley Research Center Deputy Director Rick Gilbrech will visit Forest Heights Elementary School, Columbia, S.C., on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to kick off the newly established educational partnership between NASA and the school and to bring the Vision of Space Exploration to students and their families.

Gilbrech will also participate in a Family Night presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Forest Heights Elementary School at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to the Family Night event.

Bolden and Gilbrech will encourage students to study math and science so they can pursue careers in aeronautics and space as they discuss NASA's plans to return to the moon and go on to Mars. The Family Night event is designed to bring the excitement of space exploration to all residents of Columbia and the surrounding area.

What: Family Night When: 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 Who: NASA's Langley Research Center Deputy Director Rick Gilbrech Where: Forest Heights Elementary School

What: Student Assembly When: 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30 Who: Former Astronaut Charles Bolden Jr. and NASA's Langley Research Center Deputy Director Rick Gilbrech Where: Forest Heights Elementary School

Media interested in covering the events or arranging an interview with Bolden or Gilbrech should contact Lindsay Crouch at 757-864-3189 or 757-870-6912 (mobile) by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 or by calling Marny Skora, who will be present at the events, at 757-344-6111.

Born and raised in Columbia, S.C., Bolden has logged more than 7,000 hours of flying time in the United States Marine Corps. Selected by NASA in May 1980, Bolden became an astronaut in August 1981. He has held many technical assignments in NASA and has logged more than 680 hours in space on four different shuttle flights. Bolden served as pilot on STS-61C (January 1986) and STS-31 (April 1990) and was the mission commander on STS-45 (March/April 1992) and STS-60 (February 1994). He left NASA in 1994 to return to the operating forces of the U.S. Marine Corps and is currently the chief executive officer of JACKandPANTHER LLC, a small business enterprise providing consulting in the fields of leadership, defense and aerospace issues.

Before being named NASA Langley's deputy director, Gilbrech served as deputy director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, located at Langley. Since beginning his NASA career in 1991 at NASA Stennis Space Center, Gilbrech has had many roles in management, including experience in the areas of propulsion test technology, the X-33 program and the space shuttle program.

Forest Heights Elementary School was named one of NASA's 2005 Explorer Schools in May. The school started the program this fall and will continue the partnership for the next three years.

The NASA Explorer School (NES) program is sponsored by NASA to help educators and students join NASA's mission of discovery through educational activities and special learning opportunities tailored to promote science, mathematics and technology applications and career explorations.

Over the next three years, students in the NES program will participate in digital conferences with scientists and engineers at NASA. Educators will also take the hands-on activities to their students to provide exciting learning experiences in the science, mathematics and technology fields.

To learn more about the NES program, please visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:

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