Astronaut Al Worden to Honor CU-Boulder Student With Scholarship Award Nov. 18

November 12, 2009

Apollo 15 Astronaut Al Worden will present University of Colorado at Boulder senior Riley Pack with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation during a public presentation and ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m. in Old Main Chapel on campus.

The award ceremony will include a talk by Worden, one of only 24 men to have traveled to the moon. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Astronaut Scholarship is the largest monetary award given in the United States to science and engineering undergraduate students based solely on merit. Seventeen of these prestigious awards were dispersed this year through the ASF to outstanding college students majoring in science, engineering or math.

Over $2.8 million has been awarded in scholarships to date, $143,500 to CU-Boulder students. All recipients have been cited for their motivation, imagination and intellectual daring, as well as exceptional performance, both in and outside the classroom.

"Students like Riley are the pioneers of our future," said Worden. "He will forever be included in the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's elite group of Astronaut Scholars. Our scholars have gone on to work with the Hubble Space Telescope discovering the furthest galaxy documented to date, helped design several of the world's most prestigious fighter jets, have been named some of the top 50 technical leaders by Scientific American and much more."

Pack is an electrical and computer engineering and applied mathematics double major from Edwards, Colo. He helped develop software for a new standard of integrating student payloads onto sounding rockets and served as the workshop software engineer in a project at NASA's Wallops Island facility to demonstrate how to build a sounding rocket payload in only a week.

Pack has led several space hardware missions as a member of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, including a balloon satellite mission, and has co-designed and tested a bell jar vacuum chamber and designed the command and data handling system for the first Colorado CubeSat satellite, which is scheduled to launch on a NASA rocket this fall.

"The University of Colorado at Boulder is extremely proud of Riley Pack, who has shown himself to be a very talented and imaginative student both in the classroom and the lab throughout his undergraduate years here," said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano. "We also are grateful to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation for supporting nine of our undergraduates since 2001, which has helped to propel many of them toward careers in space-related research and education."

Worden served as command module pilot on the 1971 Apollo 15 mission, when he orbited the moon with crewmates Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. During his time in the command module, Worden photographed 25 percent of the lunar surface with two special cameras mounted outside the ship.

On the homeward journey Worden took a spacewalk, moving along handrails on the outside of the spacecraft to retrieve film cassettes from the two moon-mapping cameras. He was inducted to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1997 and has chaired the ASF since 2005.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by the Mercury Astronauts in 1984. Its goal is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for exceptional college students pursuing degrees in these fields. Today, more than 80 Astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, space shuttle and space station programs have joined in this educational endeavor.

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