NASA brings 50th anniversary celebration to Columbus

Posted: February 22, 2008

When NASA brings its 50th anniversary celebration to COSI Columbus on Thursday, 02-21, to discuss the role of space exploration in advancing science, engineering, technology and the economy in Ohio, the College of Engineering will be there to mark the agency’s milestone. William A. “Bud” Baeslack, Dean of Engineering, will participate in the NASA Future Forum during the celebration.

Baeslack will serve on the discussion panel for “Building Idea Factories for the Future,” as will Rich Rosen, College of Engineering Strategy Council member and Vice President for Battelle. Additional Ohio State researchers are among panelists who will discuss discovery, innovation and inspiration.

Ohio State’s College of Engineering and NASA have a long history of partnering on important space research projects. Recent collaborations between NASA and the College of Engineering include a series of research projects with Ron Li, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science, to develop mapping technology for the current and future Mars rovers, including the development of advanced geo-information technology to integrate orbital, descent and ground imagery in Mars landed missions.

In addition, Ohio State recently received a gift of $20 million to provide funding to create the Space Exploration Research Fund to support promising research that will lead to the furtherance of space exploration, and for a faculty chair in engineering, named in honor of former astronaut and U. S. Senator John Glenn.

Columbus is the second of ten cities hosting a NASA Future Forum, a year-long series celebrating NASA’s 50th anniversary. COSI will offer special exhibits from NASA, including models of rockets in the new Constellation program, interactive kiosks with images from the International Space Station, and a replica of the Mars Exploration Rover.

For more information on NASA’s 50th anniversary celebration, its historic exploration missions and its history, visit

Gina Langen, 614-688-4423