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Meet Two Engineers Bringing Human Spaceflight Back to The United States

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Melanie Weber and Louis Atchison To Speak At Science Night Live on March 2

The final frontier, the great unknown, or as we like to call it – SPACE. From Galileo looking to the cosmos almost 400 years ago to the first steps on the moon, and everything in between – the world’s fascination with space exploration is one trait we all have in common. For three decades, NASA sent American astronauts into orbit, each with different missions, triumphs, and even tragedies. During this time, the United States learned vital information about the vast darkness above us.

 

Since NASA’s Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011, the United States has not been able to send astronauts to space from American soil. However, one company has been working tirelessly toward bringing human spaceflight back to the U.S. Enter Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner. This 21st-century space capsule will restore America’s independence in human spaceflight by sending three astronauts – two from NASA and one from Boeing – into space later this year.

 

Two engineers from the remarkable team tasked with creating this vessel will be at Science Night Live on March 2 to speak to guests and answer questions. Melanie Weber and Louis Atchison, the lead for the Launch Pad Team and chief of Launch and Recovery Operations, respectively, will give two presentations together – don't miss this opportunity to connect with them before they make history!

 

Melanie’s roles include the design of hardware that supports crew and cargo, and for developing ground operations and launch procedures at the Space Launch Complex-41 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. A fashion aficionado, she explores her artistic talents while creating different elements of the Starliner’s interior. She even had a hand in creating the landing airbag for the spacecraft that is actually modeled after vehicle airbags. Melanie will be one of the last people the three astronauts see before they launch.

 

Louis, on the other hand, will be one of the first people to welcome the Starliner’s crew safely back to Earth. In fact, it will be the first time in history that a capsule-shaped spacecraft lands on American soil instead of in the ocean. Louis also directs both the real-time integrated launch countdown and landing site operations for the spacecraft. An aspiring astronaut, Louis has been working for nearly 15 years on a variety of leadership roles including the complete lifecycle of complex space systems. From the design to the launch and recovery – this commercial pilot and certified SCUBA diver has seen it all!

 

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your $16 tickets to Science Night Live on March 2 and make sure you set an alarm for this unmissable opportunity to hear from Melanie and Louis – and ask them any questions you have about their exciting mission.

More Science Night Live Experiences

  • Starliner Space Launch Simulation – Stop by the Boeing table and get your hands on a pair of 360 VR goggles to experience an out-of-this-world virtual trip of a lifetime.
  • Food and adult beverages available for purchase.
  • Explore Above and Beyond presented by Boeing – Take an elevator to space, design your own jet and race against your friends and more!
  • Workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace and experiments in Dr. Dare's Lab.

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