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“Nebraska’s Astronaut” to land on Omaha Press Club Floor

Clayton Anderson spent five months aboard the International Space Station. He has bravely walked in space. Now he’s venturing into scarier territory. Anderson will be roasted and toasted on Friday, November 19th, at the Omaha Press Club as the next “Face on the Barroom Floor.”

 


 

Since 1971, the Press Club has honored, with a caricature drawing by artist Jim Horan, newsmakers who have made an impact on their community. Hanging from the club’s walls are the images of newsmakers, ranging from the first almost 40 years ago -- Mayor Gene Leahy -- to the most recent -- Dr. Ronald Roskens, former NU president. Recipients have included Tom Osborne, Larry the Cable Guy, Warren Buffett and 122 other newsmakers.

The public is invited. Dinner is $40 for members and $50 for non-members. Non-members who attend only the no-host reception and roast pay $10. There is no cost to members for the reception and for the roast. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m.; the roast starts at 6:30 p.m. Dinner follows.

Set to roast the man known as “Nebraska’s astronaut” are Pat and JT of KQKQ FM, who also will emcee the roast; U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, Allen Beermann, Nebraska Press Association executive director; Mary Fricke Bohn, high school friend; Phil Dudley, Hastings College president, and Rod Bates, Nebraska Educational Television general manager.

Anderson received his bachelor of science degree (cum laude) in physics from Hastings College in 1981. He received a master of science degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University in 1983. Honors that have come his way include an honorary doctorate degree from Hastings College in 2004 and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the National Council of Alpha Chi in 2001.

The astronaut, who calls Ashland, Neb., his hometown, spent a five-month tour aboard the International Space Shuttle in 2007, launching from Shuttle Atlantis. He performed three spacewalks. During his tour, he jettisoned two pieces of space hardware, including a servicer weighing more than 1,400 pounds. The space satellites that were created by the jettisoned pieces were named “Nebraska 1” and “Nebraska 2.”

Anderson joined the Johnson Space Center in 1983. In 1988, he moved to the Mission Operations Directorate and became a flight design manager. In 1989, Anderson entered into management and in 1993, he was named the chief of the Flight Design Branch. He was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and as a NASA mission specialist in 1998.

He and his wife, Susan, have two children, son Clayton “Cole” and daughter Sutton Marie. Anderson has served as a high school and college basketball official. He participates in the choir and is an organist at Webster Presbyterian Church.

 

-end- metroMAGAZINE 

 

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