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NASA Astronaut to give talk at Hamilton College

By Sharon Rippey 315-859-4672  |  Contact Sharon Rippey 315-859-4672
Posted February 11, 1999
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Dr. James Reilly, NASA Mission Specialist, will give a lecture entitled "Knowledge from Space: Now, in the Beginning and to the End of Time." Dr. Riley's lecture will take place at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23, in the science auditorium at Hamilton College. In December 1994, NASA selected Reilly for their astronaut program. In March 1995, he reported to the Johnson Space Center, where he completed a year of training and evaluation to become qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Originally assigned to work technical issues for the Astronaut Office Computer Support Branch, Reilly flew on STS-89 and has logged over 211 hours in space. He has now been assigned to STS-101, which has a target launch date for January 2000.

STS-89 was the eighth Shuttle-Mir docking mission. The crew transferred more than 9,000 pounds of scientific equipment from the Space Shuttle Endeavor to Mir. They also made the fifth and last exchange of a U.S. astronaut when they delivered Andy Thomas to Mir and returned with David Wolf. The mission lasted eight days, 19 hours and 47 seconds. The crew traveled 3.6 million miles in 138 orbits of the Earth.

In 1972 Reilly graduated from Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas, and was awarded a U.S. Navy ROTC scholarship. He earned both his bachelor of science degree and master of science degree in geosciences from the University of Texas-Dallas in 1977 and 1987, respectively. He received his doctorate in geosciences from UT-Dallas in 1995.

In graduate school, Reilly was selected to be a research scientist specializing in stable isotope geochronology as part of the 1977-78 scientific expedition to Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica. This expedition culminated with his receipt of the Antarctic Service Medal in 1978.

Since then he has worked as an exploration geologist for Santa Fe Minerals Inc. and Enserch Exploration Inc., in Dallas. He has also been actively involved in the application of new imaging technology for industrial applications in deep water engineering projects and biological research.

A resident of Mesquite, Texas, Dr. Reilly is married to the former Jo Ann Strange and has three children. When he is not flying NASA shuttle missions, he enjoys skiing, photography, running, soccer, hunting and fishing.

Hamilton College is a highly selective residential college offering a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. Students are challenged to think, write and speak critically, creatively and analytically, so that upon graduation they may distinguish themselves in both their professions and their communities.

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