February 15th in African American History – Leland Devon Melvin

Leland Devon MelvinFebruary 15, 1964 Leland Devon Melvin, engineer and NASA astronaut, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Melvin attended the University of Richmond on a football scholarship and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1985.

In 1991, he earned his Master of Science degree in materials science engineering from the University of Virginia. Melvin was selected by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 NFL draft, but a couple of injuries ended his professional football career. In 1989, Melvin began working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and in 1998 he was selected as an astronaut.

Melvin has flown two missions on the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist, on STS-122 from February 7 to 20, 2008 and on STS-129 from November 16 to 27, 2009 for a total of 23 days, 13 hours, and 28 minutes in space. Melvin was named NASA associate administrator for education in October, 2010.

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