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About the Exhibit

This online exhibit was created in conjunction with Jerry L. Ross: An Astronaut’s Journey, an exhibition held January 7 through February 22, 2013 in the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center at Purdue University.

We hope you will explore the digital materials presented here to see, hear, and learn more about what it is like to be an astronaut and how one individual with a dream, determination, and hard work along with the support and encouragement of many, made the journey to space. The items in this exhibit were drawn from the Jerry L. Ross Papers which were generously donated to the Research Center by Jerry Ross during 2012 – 2013.

Jerry L. Ross Biography

Jerry L. Ross was born in Crown Point, Indiana. He received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1970 and 1972. He is a retired United States Air Force Officer and a former astronaut. Joining NASA in 1979, Jerry L. Ross supported the Space Shuttle Program as an astronaut from before the first launch in April 1981 to the last landing in July 2011. He has flown seven US Space Shuttle missions. In addition, he supported the International Space Station Program from its inception through the completion of the Station’s assembly in 2011. (credit/citation for some of this information: NASA Johnson Space Center, Biographical Data sheet for Jerry L. Ross. )

To learn more about Jerry Ross’ journey to become an astronaut, please see his autobiography, Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer, available in your favorite bookstore or library.