Press Release

NASA Astronaut Returns to Illinois Oct. 25-27

By SpaceRef Editor
October 22, 2007
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NASA astronaut, and newly named commander of space shuttle mission STS-119, Lee J. Archambault will return to his home state of Illinois to visit his alma maters Oct. 25-27.

Archambault begins his visit Oct. 25 at his former high school, Proviso West, 4701 West Harrison, Hillside. During the visit, Archambault will recount his first spaceflight experience aboard the space shuttle Atlantis for STS-117 with students and faculty during a 9 a.m. presentation. A brief question-and- answer session will follow. The media are invited.

Archambault continues his visit Oct. 26-27 in Urbana where he will participate in several University of Illinois Homecoming events along with other UI alumni, including Flight Director Cathy Koerner. Koerner was the lead space shuttle flight director for Archambault’s mission, STS-117. She is now the space shuttle manager in NASA Johnson Space Center’s Mission Operations Directorate.

On Oct. 26, Archambault will spend most of the day visiting with students and faculty of the College of Engineering. At 6 p.m., Archambault and Koerner will be honored during the Illini Homecoming Parade. The parade route starts at Sixth Street and Taft Drive in Champaign and ends at the Quad in Urbana. The parade is open to the public and media.

Immediately following the parade, Archambault will present the Illini hockey team with a hockey jersey he carried with him in space. The game starts at 7 p.m. at Ice Arena, 406 E. Armory. The weekend climaxes Oct. 27 when Archambault and Koerner are recognized along with other alumni at the UI Homecoming football game against Ball State. The game starts at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium. Archambault was selected as a pilot by NASA in June 1998. He piloted his first space shuttle on June 8 aboard Atlantis. Atlantis landed June 22 after traveling 5.8 million miles.

Last week, Archambault was assigned to command space shuttle Discovery during mission STS-119 scheduled to launch to the International Space Station next fall.

For more information about these appearances or to schedule an interview, contact Brenda Cabaniss, Publicist, NASA Astronaut Appearances Office, at 281- 244-8860.

For more information about Archambault, visit:

For more information about homecoming events at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.