GLENDALE—The Chamlian Armenian School announced that NASA Astronaut, Gregory Errol Chamitoff (Ph.D.), will be visiting the school’s 4th to 8th grade students at the Chamlian Campus on Friday, January 13.
It all began with a letter written to Congressman Adam Schiff by Shant Armenian, a 4th grade Chamlian student, and Sidewalk Astronomy Club member. Shant has always held a great interest in astronomy and the exploration of space.
In the letter, Shant communicated that he and his classmates would love for an astronaut to visit Chamlian and share his experiences in space. Congressman Schiff responded to Shant’s email with a phone message. He mentioned that he was able to arrange for NASA astronaut, Gregory Errol Chamitoff, to visit Chamlian. “Thank you for writing to me,” Congressman Schiff said, “I look forward to meeting and sharing this great experience with you.”
Gregory Errol Chamitoff served as the Flight Engineer and Science Officer for a 6-month mission abroad the International Space Station in 2008 and was appointed as a Mission Specialist on the last flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2011. Dr. Chamitoff flew to the International Space Station on STS-124, launching on May 31 2008. He was in space 198 days and returned to Earth on November 30, 2008 on STS-126. Chamitoff also served as a mission specialist on the STS-134 mission. A member of the California Astronaut Hall of Fame, he holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, an M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Caltech, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT.
He will speak to the students about the space program and his experiences as a NASA Astronaut.
“It’s not every day that students get a chance to meet and hear first hand experiences from an astronaut”, mentioned Communications Coordinator, Lara Hovsepian. “It will be an honor to take part in this unprecedented event”.
“There is something magical that happens when students get to interact with astronauts,” said Schiff, who has sponsored other astronaut visits to area schools. “The kids are inspired and they are better able to understand the critical importance of math and science, subjects where American students lag behind those in other countries.”
Schiff serves on the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (including jurisdiction over NASA’s budget).