Mesa Community College to Host NASA Destination Station: Experiences in Orbit

Mesa Community College will host NASA’s Destination Station: Experiences in Orbit during two events later this month where Astronauts Suni Williams and Cady Coleman will share their experiences about their time spent on the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS is an internationally-developed research facility located in Earth’s lower orbit. It is the largest space station ever constructed and serves as a research laboratory where astronauts from around the world conduct experiments in human health, physical sciences, and earth and space science.

On Monday, February 25 MCC will host Astronaut Suni Williams will speak to MCC and Mesa Public School attendees.

Suni was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy in May 1987 and served with the US Navy until being selected by NASA in June 1998.

As a member of the Expedition 14 crew, Suni served as Flight Engineer.  While onboard, she established a world record for females with four spacewalks totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes of Extravehicular Activity (EVA).  Williams concluded her tour of duty as a member of the Expedition 15 crew returning to Earth with the STS-117 crew to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California on June 22, 2007. From July 14 to November 18, 2012, Suni participated in Expedition 32/33. She spent four months conducting research and exploration aboard the orbiting laboratory.  She served as Flight Engineer for Expeditions 32 and International Space Station Commander for Expedition 33. 

Suni has spent a total of 322 days in space on two missions; ranks sixth on the all-time US endurance list and second all-time for a female. With 50 hours 40 minutes, she also holds the record total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut.

The second of the two Destination Station events will be held on Thursday, February 28. MCC invites community members to a presentation by Astronaut Cady Coleman.

Cady was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in 1983 and began graduate work at the University of Massachusetts. In 1988, Cady entered active duty and was assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. She was then selected by NASA in March 1992. Cady retired from the Air Force in November 2009.

Cady has logged more than 4,330 hours in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station. Her space flight experience includes STS-73, STS-93 and Expedition 26/27. STS-73 Columbia (October 20 to November 5, 1995) was the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission. The mission focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, the physics of fluids, and numerous scientific experiments housed in the pressurized Spacelab module. In July 1999, Cady served as the lead mission specialist for the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory during STS-93 Columbia. Cady's third space mission was Expedition 26/27 to the International Space Station where she served as a flight engineer aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft for launch and landing. She spent 159 days in space aboard the International Space Station. In addition to performing science experiments and space station system maintenance operations, she acted as the lead robotics and science officer during her tenure aboard the ISS.

MCC Destination Station Event Details:

MCC and Mesa Public School Event

Monday, Feb. 25, 2013
9 - 9:45 a.m., Astronaut Suni Williams
9:45 - 10:30 a.m., Autographs
Student RSVP Link:

Community Destination Station Event
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013
7 - 7:45 p.m. Astronaut Cady Coleman
7:45 - 8:30 p.m. Autographs
Planetarium showings after presentation
Community RSVP Link:

Both events will be held in the Event Tent, east side of the Southern and Dobson campus (1833 W Southern Ave., Mesa, in the Event Tent on the east side of campus).

About Destination Station

Destination Station is NASA's International Space Station Program national awareness campaign that promotes research opportunities, educates communities about activities performed on the International Space Station, and communicates the real and potential impacts of the station on our everyday lives. Additional information about Destination Station can be found at

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students who attend annually to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.

Please direct media inquiries to Angela Askey at or Sally Mesarosh at  or the Office of Institutional Advancement at 480-461-7445.  IA website:


Source Details

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 6, 2013