NASA’s Derrick Pitts Talks About His Passion For Space In Honor of Black History Month

By  //  February 20, 2019

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

Chief Astronomer of the Fels Planetarium

ABOVE VIDEO: Eat. Breathe. Do Science. Sleep later. That’s the motto of Derrick Pitts, NASA Solar System Ambassador. 

(NASA) – Eat. Breathe. Do Science. Sleep later. That’s the motto of Derrick Pitts, NASA Solar System Ambassador.

When asked about the first time he made a personal connection with space, Pitts answered:

“There are three instances (all realizations about the sky before I was 12): First was when as a child, enthralled with the rockets of the space program, I realized that Mercury astronauts Shepard, Grissom and Glenn were going to fly in space.

“Second was when I realized that my street ran east-west and the adjacent street running north-south T’d into mine and I could use the street set-up as a solar clock, reading the motion of Earth in the solar system.

“Third was when I went out onto my street to look up at the sky after reading a “Scientific American” article about how spectra of the most distant galaxies told the story of the expansion of the universe. I looked into the sky with a totally different understanding of it than I had just a few hours before.”

Since 1990 he has been the Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

He has been a NASA Solar System Ambassador since 2009 and previously served as the “Astrobiology Ambassador” for the NASA/MIRS/UNCF Special Program Corporation’s Astrobiology Partnership Program.

He also served as a science museum/planetarium/community outreach advisory board member for the next generation Thirty Meter Telescope, currently under construction at Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii.

Since 1990 Derrick Pitts has been the Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Above, he examines a telescope owned by Galileo Galilei that was on display at his museum. (NASA image)

BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROFILE: Mary Jackson Hired in 1951, Was First Black Female NASA EngineerRelated Story:
BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROFILE: Mary Jackson Hired in 1951, Was First Black Female NASA Engineer


Click here to contribute your news or announcements Free