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Astronaut James Newman at Space Day

May 7, 2010

Dr. James Newman

While the name Newman might not be the most popular to fans of Seinfeld, to space fans, it is a good one. Astronaut Jim Newman will be attending Space Day tomorrow to give a presentation and sign autographs. I thought it might be useful to provide you with some biographical information.

Dr. Newman was the first spacefarer born in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (now the Federated States of Micronesia), but he considers San Diego to be his hometown. He graduated from La Jolla High School. Go Vikings! (I did not go there, but saying that seemed appropriate)

In 1990, NASA selected him as an astronaut. Three years later, in 1993, Dr. Newman flew as a mission specialist on STS-51 (1993) aboard the Shuttle Discovery. During STS-51 he performed his first spacewalk.

Two years later, he later flew on STS-69 (1995) aboard the Shuttle Endeavour. His second flight on EndeavourSTS-88 (1998), was the first shuttle mission to the International Space Station. During the mission, he and the rest of the crew attached the American module, Unity, to the Russian module, Zarya. Dr. Newman is therefore one of the first people ever to enter the space station.

Dr. Newman performed two spacewalks to help repair the Hubble space telescope during STS-109 in 2002. This mission was the last successful flight of the Shuttle Columbia. On its next flight, the spacecraft and crew were lost.

During his four space flights, Dr. Newman logged in an impressive 43 days in space, which includes a total of 43 hours and 13 minutes over his six spacewalks.

Now that you know his space-life story, make sure to hear him speak around 11 am tomorrow, 8 May, at Space Day.

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