Uploaded on Aug 29, 2008
Purdue University is a leading pioneer in the amazing promise of space exploration. It has produced so many astronauts that it is called the Home of the astronauts.
It has produced 22 graduates selected as NASA astronauts. Neil Armstrong was the world's first to set foot on the mood and and Eugene Cernan was the last.
Purdue alumni have flown on more than one-third of all manned U.S. flights. Gus Grissom flew in Project Mercury in 1961; Neil Armstrong, Eugene Cernan, and Grissom in the Gemini program in 1965 and 1966; and Armstrong and Cernan in the Apollo program from 1969 to 1972.
One of the original seven NASA astronauts, Virgil Gus Grissom made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard the Mercury 4 capsule on July 21, 1961, which made him the second American in space. Grissom, fellow Purdue alumnus Roger Chaffee, and Ed White made the ultimate sacrifice when a flash fire consumed their Apollo 1 capsule during a simulated launch at Cape Kennedy, Florida on January 27, 1967.
When the space shuttle came into use, Charles Walker, in 1984, served as payload specialist on Discovery. John Blaha, in 1996, and David Wolf, in 1997, were two of the seven Americans who flew on the Russian space station Mir.
One of the two female Purdue astronauts, Janice Voss served on STS-99, Endeavour, in February 2000 on the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which was done to mapp more than 47 million miles of the Earth's land surface. Mary Ellen Weber was both a medical officer and a primary contingency space walk crew member during Discovery mission STS-70 in July 1995.
On October 27, 2007 the Neil Armstrong Hall was dedicated as a gateway to engineering research and education. Sixteen of its astronaut alumni attended. The building represents a gateway to the College of Engineering and a new gateway to the university is under construction by the new building.
Purdue University has been involved with flight. The first Purdue graduate to become an aviator received flight instruction from Orville Wright himself. Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which has been ranked as fourth in the nation, has awarded more aerospace engineering degrees than any other in the country. Purdue University has its own airport¬the second busiest in Indiana.
Purdue Astronauts: Neil A. Armstrong, John E. Blaha, Roy D. Bridges, Jr., Mark N. Brown, John H. Casper, Eugene A. Cernan, Roger B. Chaffee, Richard O. Covey, Andrew J. Feustel, Guy S. Gardner, Virgil Gus Grissom, Gregory J. Harbaugh, Michael J. McCulley, Gary E. Payton, Mark L. Polansky, Jerry L. Ross, Loren J. Shriver, Janice E. Voss, Charles D. Walker, Mary Ellen Weber, Donald E. Williams, David A. Wolf
These and numerous other items of information about Purdue University and its origin can be found in a new book, Uncle: My Journey With John Purdue.
Space exploration, travel to the planets, astronomy, astronautics, SETI, UFOs, and aeronautics are the next frontiers.
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