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2011

  • Thaller

    Dr. Michelle Thaller

    BS, Harvard University
    Ph.D., Georgia State University

    Former “Right Stuff” recipient, Michelle Thaller knew it would take more than just a passion for astronomy and space science to achieve her dreams. Since earning degrees in Astrophysics from Harvard and Georgia State, Dr. Thaller has lived the dream of many Space Camp® trainees serving as an observer on the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, the ROSAT X-ray satellite and the International Ultraviolet Explorer. As a nationally recognized spokesperson for science and astronomy, she has been featured in displays and movies and is a regular host on various series for the History, National Geographic, and Discovery Channels. Dr. Thaller continues to extend her reach to thousands as the Assistant Director of Science for Communications at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center working to ensure NASA’s public outreach and education programs are exciting and ready to meet the challenges of changing media trends and public participation in science.


  • meyers

    Valerie E. Meyers, PhD

    BA, Texas A&M University
    Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham

    As a Space Camp® trainee, Valerie Meyers was inspired to pursue a career as a scientist. She later shared that inspiration with others as a Space Camp Crew Trainer. Since then, Dr. Meyers has engaged in some incredibly innovative work. She was part of the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering’s team readying an experiment for flight on STS-105; spent a summer in the Biotechnology group at NASA’s Johnson Space Center studying the effects of modeled microgravity on bone-forming precursor cells through a fellowship from NASA’s Graduate Student Researcher program; and remained committed to educational outreach. Perhaps Dr. Meyers’ most exciting work is her five-week study on immune suppression on an island in the Canadian Arctic used as a lunar/Martian analog. Today, she is a board certified toxicologist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and has no doubt secured her place in our collective future.


  • Hare

    Lt. Col. William Burke Hare III, U.S. Air Force, Ret.

    BA, Auburn University
    MS, University of North Dakota

    For Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and Eagle Scout Burke Hare, it all began by attending Space Camp® twice and later working as a Crew Trainer at Aviation Challenge® and Space Camp. In fact, Burke left his duties as an Aviation Challenge Crew Trainer upon being called to active duty in the U.S. Air Force. Burke credits much of his inspiration to pursue an Air Force career from his incredible experiences at Space Camp. Burke‘s Air Force career led him to command space and missile crews in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile weapon system. The Air Force also gave Burke the opportunity to experience additional Operations, Maintenance and Staff Experience in Space, Nuclear, Cyber and Missile Defense missions. Burke is an ardent supporter of Space Camp, Space Academy® and Aviation Challenge programs and passionately passes on his experiences to inspire the next generation. He was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame under the Alumnus category.