[ skip to content ]


Charles Camarda, the NASA astronaut who participated in the Discovery mission last summer, will give two lectures on the campus of Old Dominion University on Friday, Oct. 28.

Camarda, who worked as a research scientist at NASA Langley Research Center before becoming an astronaut, has a daughter, Chelsea, who is a freshman at ODU. While he was working at Langley he became friends and colleagues with several faculty members of the university's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology.

The public is invited to attend Camarda's lecture at 2 p.m. on the 28th in the auditorium of the Engineering and Computational Sciences Building. He will present an overview of the recent Discovery mission from his perspective and deliver a motivational message to undergraduate and high school engineering and science students. Special invitations have been issued to high schools that participate with ODU in the Cooperating Hampton Roads Organizations for Minorities in Engineering (CHROME) program.

Prior to the public lecture Camarda will give a technical presentation on the in-space repair of the shuttle's thermal protection system to graduate students in aerospace engineering.

Camarda, a native of Queens, N.Y., received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1974 and went to work at the Langley center in Hampton. He was a research scientist in the Thermal Structures Branch of the Structures and Materials Division with responsibility for developing cooling technologies for the leading edge surfaces of the space shuttle. While a NASA employee he earned a master of science degree in engineering from George Washington University in 1980 and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech in 1990, and participated in graduate courses at Old Dominion University.

In 1989, he was selected to lead the Structures and Materials Technology Maturation Team for the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP) program, and, in 1994, to head NASA's Termal Structures Branch. He has received more than 20 NASA awards for technical innovations and accomplishments, and he holds seven patents.

Camarda made the unusual jump from NASA research scientist to astronaut candidate in 1996, and he qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist two years later. The STS-114 Discovery mission in July and August was his first.

In an unrelated appearance, Wayne Hale, manager of the Space Shuttle Program, will give a public briefing about the status of the shuttle program on Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. in the IMAX Theater of the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton. His talk is sponsored by the Hampton Roads Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The Boeing Company and the city of Hampton.

Hale was propulsion officer for the shuttle program when it began in 1981 and subsequently served as flight director for 40 launches, as launch integration manager and as deputy manager of the entire program. He became the manager in September of this year.

This article was posted on: October 19, 2005

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.