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Astronaut Haise to speak

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 27 - April 10, 1997

The Graduate Student Assembly of Virginia Tech will host Fred Haise, Apollo 13 astronaut, to speak on Monday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in Burruss auditorium. The program is the keynote lecture for the GSA's thirteenth annual Research Symposium.

The title of the speech will be "Apollo 13: Rescue in Space."

Fred Haise, portrayed by actor Bill Paxton in the film, Apollo 13, served as the lunar-module pilot during the ill-fated 1970 space mission. Haise recently retired as president of Grumman Technical Services, a position he held since 1983. He joined Grumman in 1979 as vice president of space programs and became president of the Space Station Division in 1987. As a pilot, he logged 9,100 hours of flying time in more than 80 types of aircraft. As an astronaut, he served as back-up crew for the Apollo 8, 11, and 16 missions and flew five flights as the commander of the space shuttle Enterprise in 1977 for the approach-and-landing test program at Edwards Air Force Base.

Haise graduated with honors in aeronautical engineering from the University of Oklahoma and completed post graduate courses in the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and at Harvard Business School. He has been a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot and flight instructor, and served with the Air Force 164th TAC Fighter Squadron.

Haise began his 20-year NASA career as an aeronautical research pilot at Lewis Research Center in 1959. He became an astronaut at the Johnson Space Center in 1966.

The Research Symposium will be Monday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Squires Commonwealth Ballroom. Students-undergraduates and graduates-will display their research on posters. The work will be evaluated by faculty members representing the eight colleges. Graduate-student research will be judged in three categories: social sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences and engineering. Undergraduate posters will be judged by members of the university's Commission on Research. Cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded in each graduate category and to the top three undergraduate posters.

As another aspect of the Research Symposium, sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Blacksburg Middle School have entered an essay contest detailing a research project that would be conducted in space to advance science. Winners will be announced Monday evening. Winners will receive $50 savings bonds donated by the Credit Union of Virginia Tech, Blue Ridge Bank, and First National Bank of Blacksburg.

The public is invited to attend the Research Symposium and the talk by Haise. There is no charge.

For more information about the Research Symposium, contact Alan Slesinski at 1-8679, 552-6167 or alans@vt.edu or Rajiv Khosla at 1-4521 or rkhosla@mail.vt.edu.