Press Release

NASA Brings Vision for Space Exploration to Montana Students

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2005
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NASA Ames senior official Bonnie Dalton and astronaut John Grunsfeld will visit Hellgate Elementary School, Missoula, Mont., to share NASA’s future exploration goals and their excitement about the future of space exploration. On Nov. 30, 2005, they will participate in a ‘launch’ event celebrating the selection of Hellgate as a NASA Explorer School.

Dalton and Grunsfield will discuss the Vision for Space Exploration and the students’ role as the next generation of explorers. The pair will encourage students to pursue studies in math, science and technology and careers in aeronautics and space.

Dalton will also participate in an evening community event to which the public is invited.

What: NASA Explorer School ‘Launch’ Event
When: 8:45 – 11:45 a.m. MST, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005
Who: Astronaut John Grunsfeld and Bonnie Dalton, deputy director, NASA Ames Science Directorate
Where: Hellgate Elementary School, 2385 Flynn Lane, Missoula, Mont.

What: NASA Explorer School ‘Launch’ Community Event
When: 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. MST, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005
Who: Bonnie Dalton, deputy director, NASA Ames Science Directorate
Where: Hellgate Elementary School, 2385 Flynn Lane, Missoula, Mont.

Hellgate Elementary School was named one of NASA’s 2005 Explorer Schools in May. The school started the program this fall and will continue the partnership for the next three years.

News media interested in attending the NES events or interviewing Dalton and Grunsfeld should contact Jonas Dino at 650/207-3280 or 650/604-5612. Visitors are required to sign in at each school’s main office to enter the campus.

Dalton, who was raised in Montana’s Little Big Horn Valley, is a strong advocate for bringing the excitement of space exploration to Montana through the Inland Northwest Space Alliance. Since joining NASA in 1963, she has been responsible for approximately 400 life science experiments conducted in the microgravity of low Earth orbit. She is currently the deputy director for the Science Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center, located in California’s Silicon Valley.

Grunsfeld was selected for the astronaut corps in 1992 and is a veteran of four space flights, STS-67 (1995), STS-81 (1997), STS-103 (1999) and STS-109 (2002). Grunsfeld has logged over 45 days in space, including five space walks totaling 37 hours and 32 minutes. In 2003-2004, he served as the NASA Chief Scientist where he helped develop the Vision for Exploration and the Hubble Robotic Servicing Mission. He is currently in training for a mission to the International Space Station.

The NASA Explorer School program is a three-year partnership, sponsored by NASA, to help educators and students join NASA’s mission of discovery through educational activities and special learning opportunities tailored to promote science, mathematics and technology applications and career explorations.

During the partnership, students in the NES program participate in digital conferences with scientists and engineers at NASA. Educators also take the hands-on activities to their students to provide exciting learning experiences in the science, mathematics and technology fields.

For information about the NASA Explorer Schools Program, visit:

For information about NASA, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.