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Honors College hosts NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman

February 13, 2012

Barrett, The Honors College at ASU is hosting NASA astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman (Colonel, USAF, RET.), March 1, at the Tempe campus, as part of the annual Honors Lecture Series. The presentation is part of a weeklong collaboration with TEDxBarrettHonorsCollege: Ideas Worth Spreading.

Coleman’s presentation, “Science on the Space Station,” will be filmed in TED’s signature 18-minute-or-less format through the TEDxBarrettHonorsCollege license. Following the filming, Coleman will take questions from students on topics ranging from "life in space" and "astronaut training" to the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in U.S. schools and universities.  

“We are delighted to host Dr. Coleman at Barrett and so happy that she can be featured in a TED talk," said Mark Jacobs, dean of Barrett. “We are also grateful to Ambassador Barbara Barrett for the major role she has played in having her friend and colleague visit.”

The "Science on the Space Station” lecture will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., in Cottonwood Hall, on the Tempe campus. Doors will open at 12:15 p.m. and lunch will be provided to those in attendance. Doors will close at 12:50 p.m., once filming begins. RSVP by Feb. 20 at to ensure a seat at the event.

In 1988 Coleman entered active duty and was assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. As a research chemist at the Materials Directorate of the Wright Laboratory, she synthesized model compounds for optical applications, such as advanced computers and data storage. Coleman also acted as a surface analysis consultant for the Long Duration Exposure Facility (launched from STS-41C in 1984 and retrieved during STS-32 in 1990). She retired from the Air Force in November 2009.

Coleman was selected by NASA in March 1992 and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. She served as a mission specialist on STS-73 and was the lead mission specialist on STS-93 for the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. On Coleman's third space mission she served as a flight engineer aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft for launch and landing and spent 159 days in space aboard the International Space Station.

Coleman also will present March 1, at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, at the College of Technology and Innovation as part of the "Thing on Thursday" production series. “Six Months in Space aboard the International Space Station” begins at 4 p.m., though guests are advised to begin arriving at 3:30 p.m. Those interested can RSVP by Feb. 27 at