The Greensboro Public Library welcomes astronaut and former NFL wide receiver Leland Melvin from 4-5:30 pm Saturday, November 18 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd. This event is free and open to the public.
This visit is part of One City, One Book, sponsored by the Greensboro Public Library and multiple community partners, which encourages the entire community to read one book. This year’s selection is Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.
Leland Melvin was 25 feet under water in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, a 6 million gallon pool, training to perform spacewalks as a NASA astronaut when he called the test director and asked him to turn the volume up in his headset. He never heard a reply and was immediately hoisted out of the pool to learn that he was deaf. Emergency surgery resulting in only partial recovery to his hearing led him to being medically disqualified to fly in space by NASA flight surgeons. This is just one of the many career ending challenges Leland has overcome in his life. Before becoming an astronaut Leland was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 College Draft to play professional football but a hamstring injury thwarted his NFL career with Detroit and then later with the Dallas Cowboys. Hear his fascinating story of perseverance and how he ultimately traveled off-planet twice on Space Shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station.
Leland is the only person drafted into the National Football League to have flown in space. He uses his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) careers. He has appeared on Top Chef as a celebrity judge and Cesar Milan helped him with his unruly pooch Jake on an episode of The Dog Whisperer.
In May, Leland released the memoir, Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances. In Chasing Space, Leland shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, and examines the intersecting roles of community, perseverance and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.
There are multiple events at the Coliseum and to avoid paying parking fees, just mention the Leland Melvin event at the gate.