Former Astronaut Teaches at MU

8 years 1 month 3 days 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
COLUMBIA - Hackers compromised the home page of Gentry Middle School in Columbia Tuesday night, briefly posting the N-word in... More >>
10 minutes ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) is investigating a sexual assault Tuesday afternoon near the MU campus.... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twelve Democratic presidential candidates took stage Tuesday night in Ohio while mid-Missouri viewers watched on television. The debate... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released the results Tuesday of a survey on the campus climate surrounding sexual assault... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said Tuesday Missouri is in no shape to handle a recession if financial... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - From ear to ear, it's hard to miss 94-year-old Elmo Winterhalter's smile. "I don't know I've always... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in EmVP
COLUMBIA - MU Health Care unveiled a new therapeutic, outdoor activity center for patients Tuesday. The area has a... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 4:14:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Three people were hospitalized after a crash involving an ambulance shut down two major roads Tuesday afternoon. ... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 3:20:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
MOKANE - Mokane City Council met last week to discuss plans to reconstruct their old waste and drinking water system.... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 3:09:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order Tuesday to create a campaign to educate, warn, and deter... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 1:32:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (KSHB) — You never know what you'll encounter as a police officer. One day, you may walk... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:47:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who is on a record-breaking pace during the first half of the season, and Wisconsin running... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:10:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in Sports
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana authorities say an improvised explosive device blew up in an elementary school playground in Helena.... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:07:00 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Moberly man pleaded guilty to a federal charge of aggravated identity theft and will be sentenced in... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 10:44:41 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- When it comes to concussions in high school sports, there is good news and bad news, a new... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:29:48 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (AP) — Turkey defied growing condemnation from its NATO allies to press ahead with its invasion of northern... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 5:45:00 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas City T-Bones are officially locked out of their stadium in Kansas City, Kansas.... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 4:48:00 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is trying to slow drivers down on two streets in the downtown area. ... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 3:56:00 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 55°
10pm 50°
11pm 49°
12am 47°
1am 45°