Press Release

Sen. Voinovich Meets With Space Shuttle Atlantis Astronauts

By SpaceRef Editor
July 22, 2009
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH) today met with four of the astronauts of the STS-125, who conducted a 13-day mission aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in May to service the 19-year-old Hubble Space Telescope. During their mission, the astronauts conducted five spacewalks to extend the life of the orbiting observatory, successfully installed two new instruments and repaired two others – bringing them back to life. They also replaced gyroscopes and batteries and added new thermal insulation panels to protect the orbiting observatory. Their work extended the operational lifespan of the Hubble Space Telescope until at least 2014 when the Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is expected to launch.
Pictured with Sen. Voinovich are four of the space shuttle Atlantis Crew Members They presented Sen. Voinovich with a flag flown during the May mission to space and a photo of the crew: (Left to Right) First-time space fliers Andrew J. Feustel, Michael  T. Good, born in Parma, Ohio and considers Broadview Heights, Ohio his hometown, and Sen. Voinovich. Veteran astronaut Scott D. Altman commanded the final space shuttle mission to Hubble. Mission specialists also included veteran spacewalker John M. Grunsfeld.
Ohio is home to the Glenn Research Center, one of only 10 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research centers in the country. It is the premier NASA facility for microgravity science, in-space transportation, aerospace communications and aeropropulsion and interdisciplinary research for bioscience.
NASA’s presence in the state contributes more than $1.2 billion annually to Ohio’s economy. Total employment impact for the region amounted to nearly 6,500 jobs, with an associated household earning of more than $400 million. As a former mayor of Cleveland and governor of Ohio, Sen. Voinovich has supported Glenn by ensuring that it has the resources needed to carry out its assigned missions.
Sen. Voinovich played a pivotal role in ensuring that the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle testing and verification mission was housed at Glenn’s satellite campus, Plum Brook Station.  Located outside of Sandusky, Ohio, Plum Brook is a high-tech testing hub that is home to the world’s largest vacuum chamber facility. He is pleased that NASA Glenn will play a prominent role NASA’s manned space exploration program. These developments signal the launch of a new chapter in the history of NASA Glenn and northeast Ohio.
Last week Sen. Voinovich, signed on as a co-sponsor to S. 951, the New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson. The act would authorize the president, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the historic and first lunar landing by humans in 1969, to award gold medals on behalf of the U.S. Congress to: Ohio’s Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon; Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., the pilot of the lunar module and second person to walk on the moon; Michael Collins, the pilot of their Apollo 11 mission’s command module; and John Herschel Glenn Jr., the first American to orbit the Earth.
*This photo is available in an electronic, high-resolution format and can be obtained by e-mailing or by calling (202) 224-6296.

SpaceRef staff editor.