Former Astronaut Teaches at MU

6 years 8 months 1 week ago Monday, September 12 2011 Sep 12, 2011 Monday, September 12, 2011 10:27:22 AM CDT September 12, 2011 in News
By: University of Missouri

COLUMBIA - University of Missouri students enrolled in Introduction to Astronomy this semester will have a big advantage: an instructor that has actually walked in space.

Linda Godwin, a veteran astronaut, has come home to the Department of Physics at the University of Missouri, where she earned her graduate degree while studying low-temperature, solid-state physics. In addition to teaching Introduction to Astronomy, she will contribute to outreach in the department and will use ties to NASA and the space program to contribute to new or existing projects, or perhaps develop a new class in physics for the future. However, the most important lesson she may be teaching is the importance of physics and science, and the impact it could have on students' future careers.

"The MU Department of Physics and Astronomy already has a tremendous outreach program, so I want to be sure that what I bring meshes with what they already have," Godwin said. "My main goal is to draw students into physics and present them with options related to science and the scientific process - no matter what they go on to do. My degree got me in the door at NASA because we could work with investigators in all areas of science. Learning physics helps you understand how the whole world works."

Godwin had a 30-year career with NASA, which she joined in 1980. She became an astronaut in 1986, and her career became more focused on other fields, depending on the mission into space. For example, she had to use earth science for measurements and observations as she orbited around the planet, and she learned engineering during both of her missions to dock with space stations. In 1996, she helped transfer astronauts to space station Mir; in 2001, she helped bring cargo to the International Space Station. She retired from NASA in 2010.

"The last shuttle flights have been focused on cargo flights, but when I was an astronaut, we had many dedicated science missions. The role we had to perform on each flight is embedded in my memory and that's what I remember most," Godwin said. "The feeling of being there and looking out at the Earth - that's a perspective that still stays with me."

Godwin's husband, Steven Nagel, has also joined the College of Engineering staff, and will be teaching a course next spring. Nagel became a NASA astronaut in 1979 and logged 723 hours in space.

"Many astronauts have gone back to their communities to talk about what they've learned," Godwin said. "We are the only ones currently at the University of Missouri and it is so nice to be back in the Midwest."

More News

Grid
List
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump is violating the First Amendment when he... More >>
19 minutes ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:10:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal district court in St. Louis has ruled that the Missouri prison system must... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:48:22 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
MID-MISSOURI - If you look at the forecast you can easily tell that summer is here early. Don't forget that... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:43:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Weather
(CNN) - NFL players must stand during the National Anthem this season, team owners decided Wednesday, a reaction to fierce... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:36:38 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The sheriff's department said it found pipe bombs, a detonation cord and drug paraphernalia in a Cole... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
HALLSVILLE - The NRA Bianchi Cup happens every year in Missouri, however this year, embattled Gov. Eric Greitens made an... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Special Investigative Committee continued reading the transcript of the testimony of the woman involved in... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A revision to Missouri's amateur sports tax credit program could bring more sporting events to Mid-Missouri. The... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:04:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - The Moniteau County prosecutor filed criminal charges against the former California police chief Wednesday. Former police chief... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:15:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A top official at Missouri's Department of Public Safety had a potential conflict of interest when... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:11:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK- Businesses in mid-Missouri face a steep choice when it comes to having live entertainment -- lose the music... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:53:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri judge is weighing whether a secretive nonprofit group that supports Gov. Eric Greitens' agenda... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:08:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Prosecutor's Office filed charges Wednesday against a man suspected of having pipe bombs and... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson says he will be ready to step up if Gov. Eric... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia will hold the first of seven community policing meetings Wednesday evening. Each meeting is set... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:34:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
BOLIVAR (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says an 87-year-old man died after a small plane he was piloting... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 6:39:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was pulled over Friday while speeding. Spokesman Parker Briden in a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:21:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The next phase of a new VA facility in Jefferson City is underway. Jefferson City Council... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:16:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 83°
8pm 81°
9pm 78°
10pm 76°
11pm 75°