Gemini and Apollo astronaut James Lovell will present Texas A&M University student Emily Boster with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) during a public presentation and ceremony Friday, Sept. 28, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Rudder Theatre.
The event is free and open to the public; however tickets are required and are available at the MSC Box Office.
During the visit, Lovell will share his experiences from two Gemini missions and two Apollo missions, including the famously ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, in addition to presenting the award.
“Emily has demonstrated quality leadership in aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University,” said Lovell. “She embodies the top characteristics of an Astronaut Scholar by being intelligent, perseverant and driven to lead on the path toward the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology. I’m proud to have the opportunity to present this award to such a worthy recipient at Texas A&M.”
Boster is a senior majoring in aerospace engineering with a 4.0 GPA. She expects to graduate in the fall of 2013. As a member of Texas A&M’s Astronomical Instrumentation Lab, she has been a part of work on the VIRUS instrument which will allow astronomers to better understand dark energy, and has worked on components for the Giant Magellan Telescope, which, once erected, will be the world’s largest optical telescope. Her current project is one with the goal of designing a new type of flying machine that will be configurable to meet various heavy lifting applications for civilian purposes. She hopes to later develop programs to ignite a passion in students for engineering and science.
The Astronaut Scholarship is the largest monetary award given in the United States to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) undergraduate college students based solely on merit. Twenty-two of these prestigious scholarships were dispersed this year through the ASF to outstanding college students. Nearly $3.5 million has been awarded to date. Since 1986, $200,000 has been disbursed to Texas A&M students. These high-achieving students exhibit strong drive and phenomenal performance in their field, as well as intellectual daring and a genuine desire to positively change the world around them, both in and out of the classroom.
“We are extremely proud of Texas A&M’s long and mutually productive relationship with NASA, particularly with our special ties to the astronaut program,” said President R. Bowen Loftin. “It is an honor to welcome James Lovell to our campus for this presentation. Also, on behalf of the entire Aggie family, I congratulate Emily Boster for her selection as the recipient this year of the prestigious award by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.”
Selected as a NASA Astronaut in 1962, Lovell has logged more than 715 hours in space on four missions. He piloted a then-record 14-day space trip on Gemini 7. He commanded Gemini 12, and piloted Apollo 8, humankind’s maiden voyage to the moon. Lovell is best known for his command of Apollo 13, the third lunar landing attempt which was aborted following an oxygen tank explosion en route the moon. He retired from NASA in 1973, and was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1993. Lovell served as the ASF chairman from 1997 to 2005 and is still an active member of the ASF.
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury astronauts. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in these fields. ASF funds twenty-eight $10,000 scholarships annually and has awarded nearly $3.5 million to deserving students nationwide. Today, more than 100 astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle and Space Station programs have joined in this educational endeavor. For more information, call 321-455-7012.