College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Iowa State faculty treasure connections with NASA, comment on Friday’s space launch

“And so for the final time, Fergie, Doug, Sandy and Rex, good luck, Godspeed, and have a little fun up there.” These were the sure-to-be-quoted last words of Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach before space shuttle Atlantis launched into orbit.

Atlantis, of NASA’s space shuttle program STS-135, began its final flight to the International Space Station last Friday. On board were Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.

Although the shuttle program will soon be part of America’s past, Iowa State will continue to have ties with NASA and other space exploration programs.

Iowa State had the honor of graduating its first astronaut, Clayton Anderson in 1983. Along with this, NASA has other Iowa State alumni working for it. Kate Bruns, associate director of communications with the ISU Alumni Association, said that there are about 160 ISU graduates who have worked or are currently working at NASA.

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