'Return to Flight' Astronaut Charles J. Camarda Visits Southern Research Institute

Returns Southern Research banner which flew more than 5 million miles aboard

the Space Shuttle Discovery



Nov 11, 2005, 00:00 ET from Southern Research Institute

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Charles J. Camarda,
 Ph.D., a mission specialist aboard NASA Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-114),
 today visited with engineers at Birmingham, Ala.-based Southern Research
 Institute, presenting them with a special souvenir from NASA's historic return
 to flight.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051111/CLF024)
     As a show of appreciation for Southern Research Institute's support of
 STS-114, the Discovery crew carried a Southern Research banner onboard during
 its successful mission July 26 through August 9. On Thursday, Camarda returned
 the banner to Southern Research. Accepting the banner was Michael D. Johns,
 vice president of Engineering, and John R. Koenig, director of Materials
 Research. Engineering teams at Southern Research played pivotal roles in the
 Return to Flight mission. Camarda also presented a composite containing a U.S.
 flag which had flown aboard Discovery with the banner, logging more than
 5,796,419 miles and orbiting the Earth 219 times at a maximum speed of 17,694
 miles per hour.
     Camarda then shared his personal account of what it was like to take part
 in the mission, taking time to recognize the contributions of people on the
 ground including the Southern Research Institute engineers and technicians. He
 spent the remainder of the day touring the Engineering Research Center and
 meeting with Institute engineers to learn more about the important work they
 continue to do in support of NASA programs.
     Koenig said that much of what Southern Research does in high temperature
 materials research supports manned space flight, but Camarda's visit is a rare
 opportunity for the engineers to meet and speak with one of the astronauts who
 has taken this amazing journey.
     "We've had the opportunity to work closely with Charlie on a series of
 efforts prior to his selection to fly on STS-114," said Koenig. "We share a
 heritage in materials engineering with Charlie, making this flight even more
 special in that 'one of us' was onboard." According to Koenig, NASA is in a
 period of transition, shifting from the era of the space shuttle to the
 development of new systems that will support man's return to the Moon, and
 then on to Mars.
     "This presents a challenge for us at Southern Research in simultaneously
 supporting the shuttle efforts while becoming more involved in exploration
 science efforts and supporting the design of the new Crew Exploration Vehicle
 and the Crew Launch Vehicle," he said. "But we're up for the challenge, and
 today's visit with Charlie is a great motivator."
 
     ABOUT SOUTHERN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
     Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern Research is an independent, not-for-
 profit organization that conducts contract research in advanced engineering,
 environmental and energy-related research, and pre-clinical drug discovery and
 drug development. The Engineering Division is widely recognized for its
 expertise in materials engineering for extreme environments; design and build
 of advanced instrumentation payloads, including electro-optical and electro-
 mechanical systems; environmental research and advanced energy technologies,
 and noise and vibration research. For more information, see
 http://www.southernresearch.org.
 
     MEDIA CONTACT:  Rhonda Jung, 205-581-2317 or 205-337-9634,
 jung@southernresearch.org
 
 

SOURCE Southern Research Institute
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Charles J. Camarda,
 Ph.D., a mission specialist aboard NASA Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-114),
 today visited with engineers at Birmingham, Ala.-based Southern Research
 Institute, presenting them with a special souvenir from NASA's historic return
 to flight.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051111/CLF024)
     As a show of appreciation for Southern Research Institute's support of
 STS-114, the Discovery crew carried a Southern Research banner onboard during
 its successful mission July 26 through August 9. On Thursday, Camarda returned
 the banner to Southern Research. Accepting the banner was Michael D. Johns,
 vice president of Engineering, and John R. Koenig, director of Materials
 Research. Engineering teams at Southern Research played pivotal roles in the
 Return to Flight mission. Camarda also presented a composite containing a U.S.
 flag which had flown aboard Discovery with the banner, logging more than
 5,796,419 miles and orbiting the Earth 219 times at a maximum speed of 17,694
 miles per hour.
     Camarda then shared his personal account of what it was like to take part
 in the mission, taking time to recognize the contributions of people on the
 ground including the Southern Research Institute engineers and technicians. He
 spent the remainder of the day touring the Engineering Research Center and
 meeting with Institute engineers to learn more about the important work they
 continue to do in support of NASA programs.
     Koenig said that much of what Southern Research does in high temperature
 materials research supports manned space flight, but Camarda's visit is a rare
 opportunity for the engineers to meet and speak with one of the astronauts who
 has taken this amazing journey.
     "We've had the opportunity to work closely with Charlie on a series of
 efforts prior to his selection to fly on STS-114," said Koenig. "We share a
 heritage in materials engineering with Charlie, making this flight even more
 special in that 'one of us' was onboard." According to Koenig, NASA is in a
 period of transition, shifting from the era of the space shuttle to the
 development of new systems that will support man's return to the Moon, and
 then on to Mars.
     "This presents a challenge for us at Southern Research in simultaneously
 supporting the shuttle efforts while becoming more involved in exploration
 science efforts and supporting the design of the new Crew Exploration Vehicle
 and the Crew Launch Vehicle," he said. "But we're up for the challenge, and
 today's visit with Charlie is a great motivator."
 
     ABOUT SOUTHERN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
     Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern Research is an independent, not-for-
 profit organization that conducts contract research in advanced engineering,
 environmental and energy-related research, and pre-clinical drug discovery and
 drug development. The Engineering Division is widely recognized for its
 expertise in materials engineering for extreme environments; design and build
 of advanced instrumentation payloads, including electro-optical and electro-
 mechanical systems; environmental research and advanced energy technologies,
 and noise and vibration research. For more information, see
 http://www.southernresearch.org.
 
     MEDIA CONTACT:  Rhonda Jung, 205-581-2317 or 205-337-9634,
 jung@southernresearch.org
 
 SOURCE  Southern Research Institute