Education

Aug 30, 2012 1:36 AM by Andy Koen

Former astronaut to visit middle school students Friday

COLORADO SPRINGS - Former Astronaut and NFL wide receiver Leland Melvin will visit the students at the Swigert Aerospace Academy this Friday during an assembly and school tour.

Melvin flew on two shuttle missions and currently serves as the space agency's Associate Administrator for Education. He is visiting the Colorado Springs middle school thanks to the non-profit organization Shades of Blue which encourages students explore careers in the aviation and aerospace fields.

A chemistry major at the University of Richmond, Melvin was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1986 and also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys and Toronto Argonauts. When injuries sidelined his football career, Melvin went back to school and earned his masters from the University of Virginia.

He first joined NASA in 1989 as a research engineer and entered the astronaut corps in 1998. Melvin operated the shuttle's robotic arm on missions to the International Space Station in 2008 and 2009.

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