NASA Astronaut Patrick Forrester to Visit Marshall Museum

NASA Astronaut Patrick Forrester will visit the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington on Aug. 6, beginning at 1 pm with remarks in the Pogue Auditorium. A reception and autograph session will follow.

The development of rockets during WWII became another race to outdo the enemy. The German V-2, the first long-range, guided ballistic missile, was developed during WWII as retaliation for Allied bombings of German cities.

As Germany collapsed at the end of the war, teams from the US, Great Britain and the Soviet Union captured key German manufacturing sites, guided missiles, rockets and jet-powered aircraft. Wernher von Braun and more than 100 key V-2 personnel surrendered to the Americans. Over time a significant portion of the original V-2 team ended up working for the US Army at the Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, AL.

The Redstone team, led by von Braun, was transferred to NASA on its formation in October 1958. For NASA, this new Marshall Spaceflight Center (MSFC), named for George C. Marshall, become the base for the design of Saturn rockets.

Astronaut Pat Forrester is a beneficiary of those early years of rocket science and development. A master Army aviator with more than 4,800 hours in 50 different aircraft, Forrester began his NASA career in 1993 at the Johnson Space Center as an aerospace engineer. He was selected as a mission specialist astronaut candidate by NASA in May 1996. He completed two years of training and evaluation and was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Initially, he was assigned to the Kennedy Space Center as a member of the astronaut support team. He next served as the technical assistant to the director, Flight Crew Operations. Following that, Forrester served as the Shuttle training and on-board crew procedures representative. He served as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for three missions in 2001, 2007 and 2009. He has logged more than 950 hours in space, including four spacewalks.

Reservations are required by calling Leigh McFaddin at 540-463-7103, ext. 138 or by email to Seating will be first come, first served. Members and students will be admitted free; non-members will pay $15 at the door.

Guests are invited to see the special exhibition, “From Machine to Man,” that will be on display in the Lower Gallery through August.

This event is a part of the Speed and Fury sequence of the Marshall Legacy Series and is being presented with sponsorship from L-3 and the Richard & Caroline T. Gwathmey Memorial Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

The George C. Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy through a multi-year series of exhibitions, speakers and programs centered on key themes or episodes from General Marshall’s career.