Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Meet Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao at The Explorers Club Celebration of The International Year of Astronomy in New York by Lia Chang

Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao

Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao

Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao, Dr. Steve Squyres, Dr. Gregory Olsen, Dr. Jerry Bonnell, journalists Jim Clash and Craig Covault, and Dr. Thomas King will be among the speakers at “Space Stories,” the Explorers Club celebration of 2009 as “The International Year of Astronomy, ” marking the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei, on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at the Explorers Club, 46 East 70th St. in New York.

The day starts at 9:00am with a continental breakfast and coffee followed by a series of presentations celebrating astronomy, piloting and space exploration. A full lunch is served at noon and the day closes with a book signing and cocktail party at five o’clock which provides an opportunity for attendees to meet with the speakers.

Speakers include:
Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao, FN ’05 – A veteran of four space flights, Dr. Chiao flew as Mission Specialist on STS-65, STS-72 and STS-92, and was Commander and Science Officer on Expedition-10. Dr. Chiao has logged a total of 229 days, 7 hours – including 36 hours and 7 minutes of EVA time in six space walks. He is the recipient of four NASA Space Flight Medals and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

Dr. Steve Squyres – FN ‘87 Principal investigator responsible for the scientific activities of twin robots Opportunity and Spirit and the face behind NASA’s Mars mission. Dr. Squyres will be discussing his involvement in one of NASA’s most successful efforts — the “Mars Exploration Rover Project.”

Space Participant Dr. Gregory Olsen, MN ’07 – Dr. Olsen was the third private citizen to orbit the earth on the International Space Station (ISS). After training for five months at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow, Dr. Olsen launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket TMA-7 on October 1st 2005. He then docked to the ISS on October 3rd and returned to earth on Soyuz TMA-6 on October 11th . He performed more than 150 orbits of the earth and logged 4 million miles of weightless travel during his 10 days in space.

Dr. Jerry Bonnell – Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and co-creator of “Astronomy Picture of the Day” (APOD), a website so popular that it draws well over one million hits each week. Dr. Bonnell will share and describe his most breath-taking and awe inspiring personal favorite pictures, produced by earthbound and space telescopes and planet-roving satellites. He is coauthor of “The Universe: 365 Days” and will be doing a book signing for those in attendance.

Jim Clash – A 16 year veteran of Forbes Magazine, Mr. Clash will be speaking about his MiG-25 “edge of space” experience as well as his Zero-G flight. He will also discuss his book, “To the Limits” and his interviews with Buzz Aldrin, Bill Anders, Neil Armstrong, Brian Binnie, Steve Fosset, Joe Kittinger, Kathy Sullivan and Chuck Yeager.

Craig Covault – The “Dean of Space Journalism” will be speaking on his nearly 37 years with Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine as well as his coverage of the world’s space programs.

Dr. Thomas King – As president of the “International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery,” the world’s leading aviation archaeological foundation, Dr. King will talk about his organization’s efforts to find, save and preserve rare & historic aircraft.

The event is open to the public and held at the Explorers Club’s historic headquarters in New York City which is located at 46 East 70th Street. This “not for profit” event is $55 for adults and $25 for students.

For further information, please call:
The Explorers Club
(212) 628-8383

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Lia Chang  Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.

Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Juicy Buns at Ollie’s
A night out with Gordana Rashovich, Flora Goforth in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
André De Shields Set for World Premiere of Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Indiana Rep, 3/22-4/10
Photos: A.B. Cruz III and Lillian Kimura Receive 2011 AALDEF Justice in Action Awards
Photos of Lion Dancers in Los Angeles Chinatown
Photos: Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington in San Marino
Andy Warhol, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Lia Chang in Art & Healing Exhibit at Snug Harbor on SI
My Empire State Building at Dusk on view in HHC’s “Art and Healing-Healthy for the Holidays” Art Exhibit
STORIES FROM CHINESE AMERICA: The Arthur Dong Collection, Vol. 2 as 4 disc DVD Box Set
<Lunch at The Modern, A Stroll Through The Conservatory Garden in Central Park
Cherry Blossoms, Magnolias, Tulips and Narcissus at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Spring in New York is a Veritable Color Riot
The Dish on Susur Lee and Shang
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

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