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Leland Melvin

Leland Melvin is known on the Internet for his official NASA photo featuring his beloved dogs Scout and Jake, but in his memoir, Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances, he shares the story of his own fascinating life. Melvin started his career as a football player, playing for the University of Richmond before he was drafted in the eleventh round of the NFL college draft by the Detroit Lions. Hamstring injuries ended his career prematurely, and in 1991 he earned his masters in materials science engineering from the University of Virginia. Melvin began his career with NASA in 1989 at the Langley Research Center. Melvin reported for astronaut training in 1998, and eventually logged 565 hours in space over two space missions in 2008 and 2009. He retired from NASA in 2014 and now advocates for gender equality and representation of minorities in STEAM fields. Chasing Space is published in both an adult and young readers edition.

Interview with CBS This Morning

"Astronaut Leland Melvin Celebrated for Work Championing Women"