Former NASA astronaut and Purdue alumnus to speak at Purdue Honors College

WEST LAFAYETTE – Dick Covey, a former NASA astronaut and past CEO of United Space Alliance, will speak as a part of the Purdue University Honors College Visiting Scholars Series. The event will be 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Honors Hall inside the Honors College and Residences North building.

Dick Covey

With over 646 hours of logged space hours, Covey will share his experiences in space flight and discuss the future of space exploration in a post-pandemic world.

No stranger to West Lafayette, Covey earned a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue in 1969 after completing an undergraduate degree in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Covey went on to serve with the U..S. Air Force as a fighter pilot and later joined the space program at NASA.

While with NASA, Covey served on four space shuttle missions. In 1985 he piloted the STS 51-1 space shuttle Discovery mission for satellite deployment and spacecraft repair. On his second mission in 1988, he piloted the STS-26 space shuttle Discovery mission, which deployed the TDRS-C satellite and operated 11 secondary payloads. In 1990, Covey served as commander on the STS-38 space shuttle Atlantis classified mission for the Department of Defense. And for his final mission, STS-61, he commanded the space shuttle Endeavour, which serviced and repaired the Hubble Space Telescope.

Included in Covey’s presentation on Nov. 2 will be the recognition of three Astronaut scholarships awarded by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. These awards are sponsored by Kathy and Dick Covey and the CoveyLove Legacy Fund, Jim Hays in honor of Purdue astronaut Gene Cernan, and Marc and Sharon Hagle.

This year’s Astronaut scholarship recipients, Joseph Kirchhoff, John Putziger, and Abigale Sipes, were announced earlier this semester. These students participated in the annual Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Gala in August and have received financial scholarship awards for the academic year 2021-22. More about the Astronaut Scholarship and this year’s recipients can be found on the National and International Scholarship Office website.

The public is invited to attend this live event. This event is part of the Honors College Visiting Scholars program, which features engaging events with interdisciplinary scholars from a wide variety of fields.