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Leland D Melvin, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 408

Essay

Leland D Melvin is an Astronaut from Lynchburg, Virginia serving as an Astronaut and engineer aboard the space shuttle Atlantis. He was successful as a Mission Specialist on the following NASA assignments STS-122 and STS-129.  The space shuttle astronauts are true pioneers and leaders of American ingenuity and technological advancement. Careers within NASA are extremely demanding. Melvin was selected as an Astronaut in 1998 and since that time  he carried out a wide degree of training in the Astronaut Office Space Stations Branch, Education Department (NASA HQ), and promoting space exploration across Educational establishments across the USA. Melvin has flown on 2 missions and remains an active member of the Space Shuttle program.

Melvin attended his High School in Virginia and progressed to the University of Richmond where he obtained a scholarship in Football.  He later graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in a scientific application.  Continuing with postgraduate studies he went on to achieve a Master’s degree in Science from the University of Virginia. Although Melvin was noted for his outstanding football contributions at the University of Richmond, his real academic skills resided in Chemical engineering. His introduction to NASA was when he joined the firm in 1989 at the Langley Research Centre working with fibre optic sensors measuring chemical damage to composite metallic structures. He went on to achieve a number of notable engineering achievements with NASA that included: the leadership of a medical supervision team for one of the space launch vehicle programs and codesign of an engineering facility of fibre optic sensors.  This was his foundation for being accepted onto the astronaut training program in August 1998.

One of Melvin’s most notable achievements was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the trip of a lifetime. He spent 13 days in space on a long distance voyage  in order to facilitate the completion of the international space station.  Melvin commented on the spectacular images of the planet as the Atlantis made repeated orbits around the Earth. He was so awe struck by this that he wished everybody could have the opportunity to witness such a wonderful sight. Melvin’s leadership training was honed at the NASA Johnson Space Centre in Houston where he underwent extensive aerospace training to become an Astronaut. These included many different types of lessons that would equip him for space shuttle missions and how to deal with potential emergency and disaster scenarios. These were extremely demanding courses testing technical skills, leadership skills and critical thinking.

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