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Author Topic:   Astronaut Danny Olivas' post-NASA carrer
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-27-2010 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Veteran astronaut Olivas Leaves NASA

Veteran astronaut John "Danny" Olivas has left NASA. Olivas' last day with the agency was Tuesday, May 25, 2010.

Olivas has flown on two shuttle flights and has accumulated more than 668 hours in space. He served as a mission specialist on STS-117 in 2007 and on STS-128 in 2009 and conducted five spacewalks. Olivas logged more than 34 hours of extravehicular time in space.

"Danny's expertise in spacewalking and materials engineering will be sorely missed with his departure," Whitson said.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-15-2013 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
University of Texas at El Paso release
Danny Olivas, UTEP Unite to Advance Space Research

Former NASA astronaut and University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) distinguished alumnus John "Danny" Olivas, Ph.D., has joined UTEP as Director of the Center for the Advancement of Space Safety and Mission Assurance Research (CASSMAR) and will oversee space initiatives on campus.

CASSMAR will serve as a cross-functional, multidisciplinary center focused on risk reduction research to make commercial human spaceflight safe and successful. Research will primarily focus on materials behavior issues that have been observed in specimens of the Space Shuttle Columbia. However, CASSMAR will involve disciplines from across campus, including the colleges of Engineering, Science, and Business Administration.

"The U.S. is at the dawn of a new era of space exploration, so I am thrilled about this development," Olivas said. "UTEP has the right people, and the right facilities and capabilities to do this work. Plus, it sits in close proximity to nearby spaceports. It just makes sense to have CASSMAR here."

CASSMAR's Executive Council is a diverse team of UTEP experts: Ann Gates, Ph.D., from computer science and director of UTEP's Cyber-ShARE Center of Excellence; Steve Stafford, Ph.D., from the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; and Aaron Velasco, Ph.D., from the Department of Geological Sciences.

The Executive Council has ties to multiple research centers housed at UTEP and will work synergistically with CASSMAR. Cyber-ShARE is a state-of-the-art computer science center that can support CASSMAR's needs in knowledge, data sharing and integration. The Future Aerospace Science and Technology (FAST) Center will be a magnet for aerospace science and technology research by linking academic and entrepreneurial opportunities to NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.

CASSMAR will also partner with the NASA-affiliated Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR), which conducts innovative research in propulsion and energy engineering. Key projects in cSETR include studying liquid methane as a form of green fuel to power future space shuttles and the construction of bricks using moon dust to create structures on the moon. Also, the NASA Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) and Aerospace Education Lab (AEL) will work with CASSMAR to enhance access and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for K-12 students.

"Dr. Olivas is an outstanding role model for students on our campus and in schools across this region, and we look forward to working with him to enhance UTEP's growing national reputation for innovative research and leadership in graduate and undergraduate education," said UTEP President Diana Natalicio.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-30-2018 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Press release
Astronaut John "Danny" Olivas Launches Awareness and Fundraising Effort 'Between Land and Sea - Borders from Space'

Campaign to Provide Needed Funds for Legal Representation to Immigrant Children Seeking Asylum, or who have Been Separated from their Families

Today, Astronaut John "Danny" Olivas, announces the "Between Land and Sea – Borders from Space" Campaign, in support of Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc (DMRS), the largest provider of free and low cost immigration legal services in West Texas and New Mexico.

Inspired by a deep sense of family history, a love of our country, and a call to "do something" to help the children caught in the middle of the immigration crisis, Astronaut Olivas, and his wife Marie, traveled to El Paso, TX, with an initial goal to hand-deliver Spanish Language and Bilingual Children's books to immigrant children being detained. The initial hope was that these books, along with some direct words of caring and support, would provide these children some comfort while they were being detained at the border.

After being denied access to one of the facilities, the trip evolved into witnessing many other aspects about the immigration crisis, including attending an immigration court hearing, witnessing first-hand the experience of those trying to cross the border, and ultimately to meeting directly with DMRS representatives to discuss the crisis and to leave books with them to distribute to children. After the meeting with DMRS, he felt it was critical to support their efforts to help the children caught in the cross-hairs of recent immigration policies.

The "Between Land and Sea – Borders from Space" Campaign encourages donations to be made on the DMRS website. It currently costs an estimated $1,800 (USD) to provide legal representation for one child who is seeking asylum in the United States, or who needs to be reunited with their family. The initial fundraising goal is to raise enough money to support ten children with full legal representation by DMRS.

Astronaut Olivas reflected on why this campaign was important to him and stated,

"As we approach the annual celebration of our country's independence, we find ourselves deeply engaged in heart wrenching issues surrounding immigration and the children of immigrants. This is a perfect time for all of us to step back and reflect on what really makes America great. Our country has accomplished spectacular feats because it is who we are as a Nation. From putting footprints on the Moon, to being a beacon of hope for the world, America is great because her people are great. I am an Astronaut, Scientist and Engineer. I am also the descendant of an immigrant from Mexico.

My great-grandfather immigrated to the United States at the age of 10. I do not know for certain if he came with his parents or relatives, but my research indicates he was here by himself. It might go without saying, he had little to no education. Ultimately working in Smeltertown, just outside of El Paso, Texas, he never achieved a profession above day laborer. He entered this country at time before there was such a term as "illegal" immigration. However, my story is not unique.

Like most of the population in this great country of ours, had the policies we have in place today been in effect at the time our ancestry came to this Nation, most of us would have a far different story. How many of our ancestors would have been returned to the anguish, fear or tyranny of the country they fled? Because our country has been a welcoming sanctuary, we have reaped the benefits and become a nation of strength and prosperity utilizing the diverse range of skills, backgrounds and ideas of many cultures. The "American Dream" is alive for all of us, because those who came before us wished it not only for themselves, but for future generations to come. Why should today be any different?

Not only do the immigration policies, laws and practices need to change to provide security and inclusion, but all Americans need to frame the debate from their own, unique, perspective. What part of the world would each of us call home, had our lineage not been afforded an opportunity to participate in this grand experiment we call America? With the exception of full-blooded Native Americans, we all owe our very existence to the idea that a melting pot can, and has, produced the greatest country on the globe. The vast majority of us are the result of immigration. Not only should our leaders keep this in mind as they debate future immigration policy, we as Americans should empathize with the plight of all immigrants. They seek no more or no less than what our ancestors hoped for us.

I fully appreciate that a border is what defines a nation geographically. However, the backbone of our Nation is formed from the hearts of the immigrants, and descendants thereof, who reside here today. I am an American of Mexican descent, and virtually every single one of us is American of "fill-in-the-blank" descent. Whether you believe it is relevant today or not, the quote from the New Colossus, affixed to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!", is the very reason we are all here, regardless of political party, religion, income or otherwise. I ask every American to have heart and empathy for those seeking no more than what our forefathers sought. Let us welcome them for not just what they offer today, but what they and their future generations will contribute to this great Nation of ours.

We will continue to thrive as a nation so long as we do not forget our journey. Borders, other than that between land and sea, are constructs of the human mind, nothing else. America has discovered that her success is derived from those who have chosen to make this place their home. As we debate the appropriate manner for us to move forward in the immigration debate, let us all remember that it is from beyond the borders we have created, which as has made America great. The fourth of July is an opportunity to not only celebrate what we are, independent, prosperous, benevolent, but also who we are, a land of immigrants and their descendants."

The "Between Land and Sea – Borders from Space" Campaign will also include a social media component, with updates to the Campaign and images and information from the Olivas's trip to El Paso, TX being posted and updated on a regular basis. Please visit the "Olivas Border Blog" on Facebook.

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