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Astronaut Joe Allen '59 Shares Space Stories in Hometown Speech

Astronaut Joe Allen '59 Shares Space Stories in Hometown Speech

February 27, 2009

Joe Allen WC 2009.jpgFebruary 27, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — "I first saw the ocean in 1942; I was five years old," astronaut and 1959 DePauw University graduate Joe Allen told an audience in Crawfordsville, Indiana, last night. "We took a big family trip to Florida and I saw the Atlantic Ocean at a place called Cape Canaveral. Little did I think that 35 years later I would leave Cape Canaveral going straight up and out over the Atlantic Ocean in a spaceship. I wound up doing something that was not even invented when I was a student in Crawfordsville."

Dr. Allen, who was born and raised in the Indiana city, was joined at the Wabash College event by fellow astronaut Janice Voss.

"I'd like to say to the young students in the crowd that you too may do something that has not yet been invented," Allen said. "You can do that if you stick with your education; it's a strange, strange world."

Read more here.

A member of DePauw University's Board of Trustees, Joe Allen flew as a mission specialist on two space shuttle flights and served as a mission controller for Apollo 15 and 17 and for the first test flight of the space shuttle. During his NASA career, Allen also served as assistant administrator of the agency from 1975-1978 and as director of astronaut training and operations in the early 1980s. He is a member of DePauw University's Board of Trustees

Joe Allen's father, Joseph Percival "Perk" Allen III '30, was a member of DePauw's economics faculty from 1957 until his retirement in 1975.

Joe Allen was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2005. Details can be found in this previous story. He also received the Old Gold Goblet from DePauw (seen in photo at left) in 1985.