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Tech Trustee Barry Wilmore Headed To Space Monday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Trustee Barry Wilmore Headed To Space Monday

Tennessee Tech Trustee Barry Wilmore will represent the Golden Eagles as he launches into space Monday night.

Tech President Phil Oldham said he can think of no one who better embodies Tennessee Tech’s values and graduates than Wilmore. He said Wilmore is helping to usher in a new era of exploration and discovery from which Tech students are sure to draw excitement and inspiration.

“This sort of gives this generation of students something to look at and hold up as an exemplar of success and achievement,” Oldham said. “You know, things that people can, when they put their mind to it and work together, can accomplish.”

Oldham said the school will host a live video chat in the Multipurpose Room of the Roaden University Center on Friday at 2:45pm where they will hear from Wilmore at the International Space Station. Oldham said space travel may not generate the same interest as the Apollo days of the 1960s and 1970s, but events like this can prompt a revival in excitement.

“Having a chance to see this on a world stage in this case in a newly designed spacecraft that, actually, Barry helped develop, I think that’s a career type of experience,” Oldham said.

Wilmore will fly alongside fellow astronaut Suni Williams as part of the Boeing Crew Flight Test aboard the Starliner aircraft and United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The event on May 10 will be free and open to the public, and students will have the chance to ask Wilmore about his experience. Oldham said while he has met astronauts before, Wilmore is a unique individual and a true hero in many ways.

“I’m planning on being there for the launch, so I’m going to have an opportunity to see it firsthand, hopefully,” Oldham said. “This is my first time I’ve seen a launch in person and I’m excited and looking forward to it. I think my adrenaline’s going to be pumping probably more than Barry’s will.”

The first piloted launch of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft Monday night has been long-awaited. The flight running years behind schedule after two uncrewed test flights and extensive work to resolve a variety of technical problems. Launch time set from Kennedy Space Center at 9:30pm central time Monday night. News Talk 94.1 will present live coverage of the launch.


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