NASA Astronaut Col. Terry Virts to Take Part in Little League Baseball World Series Events
U.S. Air Force Col. Terry Virts, an astronaut and Little League coach who piloted the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a trip to the International Space Station earlier this year, will be a special guest at this year's Little League Baseball World Series.
At the Opening Ceremonies at 11 a.m. on Aug. 20, Col. Virts will present an Official Little League Shoulder Patch that he took into space on the mission, Feb. 8-21, 2010, to Little League President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Keener. The patch will be on display at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum throughout the World Series, along with several other exhibits provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The World Series concludes on Aug. 29.
Col. Virts, who coaches Little League in Houston, Texas, also will meet personally with the Little League Baseball World Series participants, and will appear at other local events during his two days in the area.
"We are honored to have Col. Virts, who coaches a Little League team in the Houston area, as our guest at this year's Little League Baseball World Series," Mr. Keener said. "And we thank NASA for providing the exhibits to add something new to the events here. Our astronauts, who undergo grueling training and risk everything in the pursuit of knowledge and scientific achievement, are true role models that any Little Leaguer can look up to."
Col. Virts, originally from Columbia, Md., graduated with academic distinction from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and earned a Master's Degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He has logged over 3,900 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft.
Selected as a pilot by NASA in July 2000, Col. Virts reported for training in August 2000. His technical assignments to date have included lead astronaut for the T-38 program, Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) test crewmember, Expedition 9 crew support astronaut, and lead astronaut for appearances. He has worked as a CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) with the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 8 through 19 as well as STS (Space Transportation System)-115 through STS-126, communicating with station and shuttle crews from mission control in Houston. Most recently he served as the lead Ascent and Entry CAPCOM.
Col. Virts was STS-130 Pilot, Endeavour (February 8-21, 2010), carrying aloft the International Space Station's final permanent modules: Tranquility and Cupola. Tranquility (or Node 3) is now the life-support hub of the ISS, containing exercise, water recycling, and environmental control systems, while Cupola provides the largest set of windows ever to grace a spacecraft. These seven windows, which are arranged in a hemisphere, provide a spectacular and panoramic view of our planet and will afford future crews a direct view of ISS robotic operations. During the 13-day 18-hour mission, Endeavour and her crew traveled more than 5.7 million miles and completed 217 orbits of the Earth, touching down at night at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.