University of Arizona Campus  •  March 10 - 11, 2018  •  9:30am to 5:30pm
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Leland Melvin

Stan Webb

University of Arizona College of Science

Leland Melvin is the only person in human history to catch a pass in the National Football League and in space. Though his path to the heavens was riddled with setbacks and injury, Leland persevered to reach the stars.

While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. Leland was relegated to earthbound assignments, but chose to remain and support his astronaut family. His loyalty paid off. Recovering partial hearing, he earned his eligibility for space travel. He served as mission specialist for two flights aboard the shuttle Atlantis, working on the International Space Station.

In this uplifting memoir, "Chasing Space," the former NASA astronaut and professional athlete offers an examination of the intersecting role of community, determination and grace that align to shape our opportunities and outcomes. "Chasing Space" is not the story of one man, but the story of many men, women, scientists and mentors who helped him defy the odds and live out an uncommon destiny.

As a chemist, athlete, engineer and space traveler, Leland’s life story is a study in the science of achievement. His personal insights illuminate how grit and grace, are the keys to overcoming adversity and rising to success.

Scheduled events:
Mind Over Matter: Exploring Inner & Outer Space
Spanning the breadth of the human experience, these authors will discuss mankind's exploration of the boundaries of human exploration and endurance as well as the grit needed to push through adversity. Come and be inspired by real-life stories of life's challenges that become the building blocks of later success and why anything is possible.

Science City - Main Stage (Seats 195)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 10, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Science / Medicine / Technology
Signing area: Signing Area - Flandrau BookStore (Science City) (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Leland Melvin, Mark Nelson, Jennifer Swanson
Moderator: Ron Garan Cancelled
Real Science and Science Fiction
An astronaut, an astronomer, and two science fiction writers sit down together to discuss fact vs. fiction in space travel, future colonization of planets, aliens, human destiny, and other fascinating topics. Assistive listening devices available.

Integrated Learning Center Room 130 (Seats 143, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 11, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - Integrated Learning Center (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: C. Robert Cargill, Chris Impey, Nancy Kress, Leland Melvin
Moderator: Richard Poss
Race, Social Injustice and the Athlete's Role
Race and social injustice remain societal issues. What roles does the athlete play in addressing them? Assistive listening devices available.

Student Union Sabino (Seats 100)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 11, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA BookStore Tent (on Mall) (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Jonathan Eig, Leland Melvin, Leigh Montville
Moderator: Frederick Klein

Chasing Space
Science / Medicine / Technology
May 2017
ISBN 9780062496720
256 pages
$25.99, INSTORE
Buy now

In this moving, inspirational memoir, a former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, examining the intersecting roles of community, perseverance and grace that align to create the opportunities for success. More/less

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friend of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
Western National Parks Association
William & Mary Ross Foundation
University of Arizona - Facilities Management

Key Sponsors

Brucker Trust
Marshall Foundation
Monark Premium Appliance Company

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