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Astronaut Story Musgrave to give keynote talk at NIU graduate student research conference

March 8, 2012
Story Musgrave

Story Musgrave

Story Musgrave, a recipient of NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal and a member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center, is the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the NIU Graduate Student Research Association.

The conference takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in the Holmes Student Center. Musgrave will speak at 1 p.m. in the Capitol Room.

Founded in 2009, GSRA is open to all students at NIU and encourages involvement of undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing graduate study. In addition to offering leadership development, the student-run organization also creates opportunities to present research papers and posters.

More than 60 presentations from all seven of NIU’s colleges are scheduled for this year’s annual conference.

Musgrave’s talk, “The Beauty and Glory of Spaceflight: Personal Experiences and Reflections,” is free and open to the public.

Born in 1935 on a dairy farm in Stockbridge, Mass., he never finished high school.

He left home to join the U.S. Marines, where he was an aircraft electrician and engine mechanic. He started flying with the Marines and, over the next 55 years, accumulated 18,000 hours in the cockpit of many different aircraft.

Musgrave earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics from Syracuse University in 1958, and then an MBA in operations analysis and computer programming from UCLA in 1959. Subsequently, he received a B.A. in chemistry from Marietta College in 1960, and earned his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1964.

A master’s degree in physiology and biophysics from the University of Kentucky followed in 1966 and, finally, a master of arts degree in literature from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 1987. Musgrave also has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates.

During his 30-year career as a NASA astronaut, he flew on six shuttle mission spaceflights and was a part-time trauma surgeon.

Among his achievements were performing the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight, piloting an astronomy mission, conducting two classified Department of Defense missions, serving as the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and, on his last flight, operating an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

Story MusgraveToday, Musgrave operates a palm farm in Orlando, a production company in Sydney and a sculpture company in Burbank, Calif.

He is also a landscape architect, a concept artist with Walt Disney Imagineering, an innovator with Applied Minds Inc., and a professor of design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

Musgrave is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Aeronautic Association, National Aerospace Education Council and New York Academy of Sciences and other organizations.

For more information about the March 31 conference, email [email protected].