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NASA Astronauts to Perform Concert for 'STEAM' Event at MCLA

03/18/2014

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts Catherine "Cady" Coleman, Ph.D., and Daniel C. Burbank will combine a musical performance with a presentation on living and working in space at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation on Thursday, March 27, at 5:30 p.m.

This Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) event, "STEAM: A Space Odyssey," is free and open to the public.

In addition to being astronauts with NASA, Coleman, a flutist who received an honorary Doctor of Science from MCLA in 2004, and Burbank, a guitarist, are amateur musicians who share their talents with various astronaut-related, musical groups. They have performed across the United States to inspire students through their music.

After their musical performance, Coleman and Burbank will give a presentation, to be followed by a question and answer session.

This presentation is made possible by Bryan McKay - the parent of an MCLA student - and One Giant Leap, a non-profit organization devoted to help students learn about space exploration and encourage them to pursue their studies in science and math. One Giant Leap also aims to educate the public about space exploration.

"This will be an exciting event," said Monica Joslin, dean of academic affairs at MCLA. "Cady Coleman and Dan Burbank will be an inspiration to our students. We are grateful to Bryan McKay of 'One Giant Leap' for bringing them to campus."

Coleman has logged more than 4,330 hours in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station. She coached "Gravity" star Sandra Bullock during Expedition 27 on the Space Station about what it's like to live in space, to help the actor prepare for her role in the film.

Coleman's Space Shuttle training includes serving as a mission specialist on STS-73. She trained as a backup mission specialist for an injured crewmember on STS-83, and was the lead mission specialist on STS-93 for the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

On the Space Station, Coleman acted as the backup U.S. crewmember for Expeditions 19, 20 and 21 and served as a backup crewmember for Expeditions 24 and 25 as part of her training for Expeditions 26 and 27.

Coleman served as a CAPCOM in mission control for both the space shuttle and space station for a number of years. She represented the astronaut office on the Tile Repair Team for NASA's "Return to Flight" after the Columbia accident, and also served as the chief of robotics for the Astronaut Office, tasked with overseeing astronaut robotics training and the integration of crew interfaces into new robotics systems.

Coleman completed her first space flight on STS-73 Columbia, the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission which focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, the physics of fluids, and numerous scientific experiments housed in the pressurized Spacelab module.

On this flight, she orbited the Earth 256 times, traveled more than six million miles and logged a total of 15 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds in space.

Coleman was the lead mission specialist for the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory on STS-93 Columbia, a five-day mission. Designed to conduct comprehensive studies of the universe, the telescope has enabled scientists to study exotic phenomena such as exploding stars, quasars and black holes.

Coleman's other space explorations included serving 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. In addition to performing science experiments and space station system maintenance operations, she acted as the lead robotics and science officer during her tenure aboard the ISS.

Coleman is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society for Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, the American Society of University Women and the International Women's Air and Space Museum.

She resides in Shelburne Falls, Mass., with her husband, renowned glass artist Josh Simpson, whose work is on display in MCLA's Admissions Office.

Burbank has logged 188 days in space, and seven hours and 11 minutes of spacewalk time. He served as mission specialist on STS-106 and STS-115, flight engineer on Expedition 29 and commander of Expedition 30.

With his crewmates, Russian Space Agency cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin on the International Space Station Expedition 29/30, Burbank launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 14, 2011, aboard the Soyuz TMA-22 and docked to the station on Nov. 16, 2011, landing their Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan on April 27, 2012.

During their 163 days aboard the station, the crew completed dozens of repairs and enhancements to the station's systems, including 23 major hardware upgrades and six major software upgrades to the command and data handling system; conducted a spacewalk to relocate an external cargo boom and install external payloads; docked and undocked five visiting spacecraft and completed a record number of hours of science research involving nearly 200 experiments, including research in human physiology, fluid and combustion physics, Earth and space science and technology development.

Burbank received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1985, and a Master of Science degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1990.

He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Association of Space Explorers, National Space Society, Order of Daedalians, U.S. Coast Guard Pterodactyls, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association.

Burbank is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Spaceflight Medals (three), Defense Superior Service Medals (two), Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medals (two), the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and various other service awards

Burbank, of Yarmouthport, Mass., is married with two children.

For more information, go to www.mcla.edu and www.onegiantleapinc.org.