Dr Gregory Chamitoff, NASA Astronaut and Adjunct Professor
A Journey Through Space: the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour
On 2 August 2011, Dr Greg Chamitoff, NASA astronaut and adjunct professor at the University, brought the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour to life at a special event as part of the Dean's International Lecture Series.
Greg served as a Mission Specialist aboard Endeavour's last flight and to date has spent 198 days in space. Endeavour's last flight, in May 2011, was an exciting and ambitious mission that carried critical spare equipment to the International Space Station and installed one of the great new observatories, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS).
Greg performed key operations with the Shuttle and Station Robotic Arms to install this particle physics detector that studies background cosmic radiation for clues to solve some of the key remaining questions of how the Universe was formed. Greg also completed two of the four spacewalks on the mission, the last of which marked the completion of International Space Station assembly.
Through first-hand experience, photos and high definition video, Greg immersed the audience in the wonder of space flight and provided an insight into the ongoing scientific benefits of NASA's space program. A podcast of the lecture will be available soon.
In addition to the public lecture, the faculty hosted a number of school students from around Sydney at a special presentation given by Greg. Students were able to ask Greg questions about life aboard the International Space Station and as a memento of the occasion, were given an autographed postcard of Greg.
During Greg's visit, he also gave an inspiring talk to the students in years 9 through 12 at North Sydney Boys High School. He presented the Principal, Ms Hughes, with a photo montage of his last mission, including an Australian flag carried aboard the shuttle.