Apollo Astronaut Honors Harvey Mudd College Student

September 30, 2013

He was the first to step outside a spacecraft without the safety of a tether. He helped space-test NASA’s Lunar Module along with the life-support backpacks and rendezvous methods later used by the Apollo 11 crew that landed on the moon.

He played a leading role in saving the first Skylab mission after the craft’s thermal shield ripped off during launch. And, now, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart is coming to Harvey Mudd College to share his mission stories and honor a fellow space enthusiast.

On Wednesday, Oct. 2, during a public ceremony, Schweickart will present Harvey Mudd senior Joshua Edelman with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. His talk is free and open to the public.

“Joshua has demonstrated exceptional achievement, talent and drive,” said Schweickart. “I am proud to be recognizing him on behalf of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation in the company of his mentors, peers and the greater Harvey Mudd community.”

A De Pietro Engineering Fellow, Edelman participated in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative last year, helping to design, build and launch an 80.4-inch-long reusable rocket. He received the 2012-2013 J.R. Phillips Engineering Award for his work on a supersonic rocket drag analysis project. In 2009, Edelman interned at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on the Aerodynamics Team performing wind tunnel tests on the Ares V.

His plans include pursuing graduate studies and an aerospace career. 

“I love designing, building and flying all sorts of high-power rockets,” said Edelman. “One way or another, I’m going to try to become an astronaut.”

Joshua Edelman '14
Joshua Edelman ’14

Harvey Mudd is one of 27 institutions—and the only non-doctorate granting school— selected by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to participate in its program. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $3 million to students nationwide; $210,000 of those funds has been awarded to HMC students.

Schweickart’s talk will focus asteroids—as rich cosmic ore bodies, stepping stones to Mars and Rosetta Stones to human life. He will discuss the threat of asteroid impacts and what might be done to address this cosmic natural hazard.

The scholarship presentation and lecture will begin at 4:15 p.m. in the Shanahan Center Auditorium at Harvey Mudd College.