NASA astronaut’s mission to the University of Leicester

Posted by er134 at Oct 21, 2014 10:22 AM |
Space explorer Dr Stanley Love to visit University campus on Wednesday 22 October

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 October 2014

Media/ photo opportunity: Astronaut Dr Stanley Love, 11.00am on Wed 22 October in the Space Research Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester. Contact Dr John Bridges on to confirm your attendance.

Astronaut and planetary space scientist Dr Stanley G. Love will be sharing his experience of Solar System exploration training and shedding light on what it takes to train for a career that is quite literally out of this world at the University of Leicester on Wednesday 22 October.

Selected by NASA as an astronaut in June 1998 and completing his first spaceflight in 2008 on the crew of the STS-122 – the 24th shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station (ISS) – Dr Love has spent more than 306 hours in space, including more than 15 hours of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or spacewalks. He was part of a team of astronauts that installed the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus laboratory on the ISS.

Dr Love will be hosting three talks during his day at the University of Leicester, which includes sessions with school children, University students, teachers and family visitors.

Dr Love said: “The continued exploration of our Solar System is central to our understanding of how the Earth was formed and, ultimately, the origins of life on our planet. Spaceflight analogs have helped to inform and develop new scientific techniques in our preparation for future space exploration of near-Earth asteroids and the planet Mars.

“It’s fantastic to be able to share my passion for planetary science and have the opportunity to inspire future generations to learn more about the science beyond our atmosphere.”

Dr Love’s visit has been made possible through the collaborative partnership between the University of Leicester, the Open University, the National Space Centre, SEPnet and the Space Research Centre.

For more information, visit:


Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact Dr John Bridges on

The University of Leicester is a leading UK University committed to international excellence through the creation of world changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. Leicester is consistently one of the most socially inclusive of the UK’s top 20 universities with a long-standing commitment to providing fairer and equal access to higher education. Leicester is a three-time winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education and is the only University to win seven consecutive awards from the Times Higher. Leicester is ranked among the top one per-cent of universities in the world by the THE World University Rankings.

National Space Centre

  • The National Space Centre is the UK's largest visitor attraction and research facility dedicated to space.
  • The National Space Centre opened to the public in June 2001 and has welcomed over 2.8 million visitors, including over 550,000 school children.
  • The National Space Centre is the Millennium Commission landmark project for the East Midlands.  It was co-founded by The University of Leicester and Leicester City Council. Its other founding partners are BT and East Midlands Development Agency.

National Space Centre media contact:
Malika Andress

National Space Centre Programme – Thursday 23 October 2014

10:45 – Why Mars is Hard
A one-hour session suitable for school groups, that looks at the challenges faced in any mission to the planets in our Solar System, specifically Mars. Suitable for 11-16 year old students: 60 minute presentation (included will be a 20 minute Q and A session). To book this session, please call 0116 258 2111. Please note, this session will be allocated on a first come first served basis. We have a small capacity and the talk is only available to pre-booked day ticket holders.

12:00 – Near-Earth Asteroids: Stepping Stones to an Interplanetary Civilization
A one-hour session for 'A' Level students and science teachers: 60 minute presentation (included will be a 20 minute Q and A session). This session is being hosted by the National Space Academy. Teachers and students wishing to be involved should call the National Space Academy on 0116 2582 147.

14.00 – Life as an Astronaut
A one hour session open to the general public in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium. Dr. Love will talk briefly about his life in space, prior to opening the floor for a Q and A session.  Tickets will be available on the day to any day pass holders and are FREE. Please note, tickets will be provided on a first come first served basis, one per visitor, from 10:00 on Thursday 23 October 2014.

About Dr. Stanley G. Love
Selected by NASA as an astronaut in June 1998, Love reported for training in August 1998. In 2008, Love completed his first spaceflight on the crew of STS-122, logging more than 306 hours in space, including more than 15 hours in two spacewalks.  STS-122 Atlantis (February 7  through February 20, 2008) was the 24th shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station.

The primary objective of the flight was to carry the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory module to the space station and install it there permanently.

Love performed two spacewalks to help prepare the Columbus laboratory for installation, to add two science payloads to the outside of Columbus and to carry a failed ISS gyroscope to the shuttle for return to Earth.

Love's flight duties also included operation of both the station and shuttle robotic arms. STS-122 was a crew replacement mission, delivering Expedition16 flight engineer, European Space Agency astronaut Léopold Eyharts, and returning home with Expedition16 flight engineer, NASA astronaut Daniel Tani. The STS-122 mission was accomplished in 12 days, 18 hours, 21 minutes and 40 seconds and travelled 5,296,832 statute miles in 203 Earth orbits.

About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has more than 200,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.

For further information please visit:

OU media contact:
Darry Khajehpour
Media Relations Officer

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