Press Release

NASA Astronaut, Hometown Hero Comes to Wrigley Field

By SpaceRef Editor
August 12, 2008
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Chicago native and NASA astronaut Dan Tani will be honored at the Chicago Cubs baseball game on August 20. Tani will throw out the ceremonial first pitch as the team hosts the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.

Tani will be available for broadcast media interviews the morning of the game from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and print media interviews at the ballpark. To schedule an interview with Tani, contact Lindsay Bromley at 281-483-2924.

Tani was born in Ridley Park, PA, but considers Lombard, IL to be his hometown. He graduated from Glenbard East High School, Lombard, Illinois, in 1979 and received a bachelor and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1984 and 1988, respectively.

In April of 1996, Tani was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate. After two years of training, he qualified for a flight assignment as a mission specialist in 1998. He flew on STS-108 in December 2001 and recently served as Expedition-16 Flight Engineer and spent 120 days living and working aboard the International Space Station. Tani has logged over 131 days in space, and 32 hours and 38 minutes of EVA in five spacewalks.

Tani is one of several astronauts returning to their home regions in support of NASA’s 2008 Hometown Heroes Campaign. The purpose is to spread knowledge about the importance of continuing space exploration.

This year NASA turns 50 years old. The agency is also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the International Space Station. Seventeen crews have lived aboard the orbiting complex since 2000, including the current crew of three. Station residents have conducted important scientific experiments and gathered data to help assist future missions to the moon and Mars.

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SpaceRef staff editor.