Astronaut to speak at memorial lecture series in Corvallis

2014-02-25T20:51:00Z Astronaut to speak at memorial lecture series in Corvallis Ravalli Republic

CORVALLIS - The only man alive who has stood on top of the world and taken a walk in space will make a stop in Corvallis to support some young scientists with dreams of their own.

NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski will be the first person featured in the Karen Bleibtrey Memorial Lecture Series on Friday, March 14, in a fundraiser for the Corvallis Middle School Science Olympiad Team’s trip to Florida to compete at nationals.

The lecture series honors a longtime Corvallis fifth-grade science teacher who died in 2011.

“We feel blessed to be able to keep her legacy alive,” said Doug Martin, one of the fundraiser’s organizers.

There are several different ways that people can play a role in helping the young scientists get to the Florida while taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a real life adventurer.

Parazynski was selected in 1992 to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps. He flew on five space shuttle missions and walked in space seven times.

A physician, Parazynski is the only astronaut to scale Mount Everest. He’s also a lifelong diver, as well as a commercial and seaplane pilot.

After graduating from Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, he went on to train at Harvard and Denver in preparation for a career in emergency medicine.

“He wants to be able to show the kids that anything is possible,” Martin said. “He’s the only human being who has both walked in space and climbed Everest.”

On Friday, March 14, Parazynski will meet with Corvallis students both in a large assembly and in classroom settings.

Parazynski will speak at 7 p.m. that night at the Bitterroot River Inn Conference Center in Hamilton. Tickets for that event are $20.

There will be a VIP reception following the lecture that will include wine, soft drinks, and hors d’oeuvres. Martin said people will have the opportunity to have their photograph taken with Parazynski. Tickets are $200 for the reception.

Tickets for the lecture and VIP reception are available at the Corvallis Middle School at 961-3201; Corvallis Physical Therapy, 1050 Eastside Highway, Corvallis; Hamilton Physical Therapy, 336 Fairgrounds Road; or Hamilton’s Chapter One Bookstore.

Checks should be made payable to the Corvallis Middle School.

Reach reporter Perry Backus at 363-3300 or

Reporter Perry Backus can be reached at

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