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NASA Mission to Mars Explored at Bridgewater College


bridgewaterDonner Grigsby, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) engineer, will discuss human exploration and the world’s journey to Mars, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, in Cole Hall at Bridgewater College.

Speaking on “NASA: Mission to Mars,” Grigsby will provide a glimpse into the solar system, as well as images from telescopes.

Grigsby was assistant chief engineer in the Ares 1-X rocket’s Systems Engineering and Integration Office, where he helped launch the flight test vehicle. The Ares 1-X is NASA’s first prototype of the vehicles it plans to use to carry humans to orbit following the retirement of the space shuttles.

In 1996, Grigsby was selected as the Systems Integration Engineer for two elements of NASA’s Terminal Area Productivity (TAP) program.

TAP was a cooperative interagency effort between NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and private industry, to improve the flight operations of the National Airspace System. TAP was also involved in the development and integration of new and enabling technologies to enhance global air transportation by making it both faster and safer. Both programs received numerous tributes including the esteemed Turning Goals into Reality Awards.

Grigsby earned a master’s degree in applied physics and computer science. As part of his thesis, he created a prototype micro-gravity strength training system that is intended for use aboard the International Space Station and deep space missions.


The program is free and open to the public.


Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,800 undergraduate students.



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