UK Happenings

Astronaut to touch down in Lexington for Kentucky Humanities Program at UK

black and white astronaut Story Musgrave in flight suit
Story Musgrave. Photo courtesy of ExploreUK.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2022) — Retired NASA astronaut Story Musgrave and Space Tango co-creator Kris Kimel will discuss Musgrave’s career during a Kentucky Humanities event 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct 13, at the Worsham Cinema in the University of Kentucky’s Gatton Student Center. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required; attendees may register here.  

"The problem of space exploration cannot just be solved with science and technology," said Karen Petrone, director of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Cooperative for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “For humanity to thrive in deep space, explorers will have to confront the social, ethical and political challenges of being human so far from Earth in place and time. The insights that the humanities provide are essential to the success of future space travel.”     

The event marks Kentucky Humanities’ 50th anniversary and is in partnership with UK’s Cooperative for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Planetary Society and Space Tango, a commercial company.  

Musgrave is an American physician, a retired NASA astronaut, an author, a public speaker and a consultant to Disney's Imagineering group and Applied Minds in California. In 1996, he became only the second astronaut to fly on six spaceflights (spending a total of 1,281 hours, 59 minutes, 22 seconds on space missions). His missions included STS-61 — the 1993 effort that repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. He holds six academic degrees, including an M.S. in physiology from UK.  

Kimel is the founder of Humanity in Deep Space, an initiative exploring the challenges and hard problems facing humans in space. He is also co-founder of Space Tango. Kimel was president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp. and he founded the IdeaFestival, an international event centering on innovation, discovery and creative thinking across disciplines. He holds bachelor’s and masters’ degrees from UK. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.