Mon, Oct 21 2013
LeTourneau University will feature astronaut Dr. Byron Lichtenberg speaking about his faith and his experience orbiting the earth as a payload specialist on two NASA space shuttle missions during a chapel service at 10:50 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, in the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center, 2100 S. Mobberly Ave., in Longview. The event is free and open to the public.
Lichtenberg flew two space shuttle missions and has orbited the earth more than 300 times. He is currently in his first year of teaching engineering as a visiting scholar at LeTourneau University.
Lichtenberg came to teach at LETU from the Federal Aviation Administration Part 142 Flight School, where he served as a B-737 type rating instructor. He also served as a commercial airline captain for Southwest Airlines for almost 20 years, with over 13,000 hours of flying the B-737 aircraft before retiring in February.
He previously served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1973. During his service, Lichtenberg flew the F-4 Phantom and experienced 9 months of combat during the Vietnam War, with 138 combat missions. He received 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 11 Air Medals and numerous other awards.
After his service with the Air Force, Lichtenberg served as a fighter pilot for the Massachusetts Air National Guard, where he flew the F-100 Super Sabre and A-10 Thunderbolt II.
Lichtenberg is also the founder, president and chief technical officer for Zero Gravity Corporation, the first commercial parabolic flight aircraft service using the B-727 aircraft. ZERO-G has a contract with NASA to provide reduced gravity aircraft services for science and engineering research.
Lichtenberg was the first director of curriculum development and a founding board of directors member for the International Space University, a school educating future leaders in the space exploration and development field. He was also a founding member of the Association of Space Explorers, a worldwide astronaut and cosmonaut association, and X Prize Foundation, a non-profit organization that awards prizes for technological development.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Brown University, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an honorary doctoral degree from Westminster University.