NASA astronaut Charles Duke Jr. presents scholarships to Miami seniors

Charles Duke

Charles Duke Jr.

Charles Moss Duke Jr., former NASA astronaut, will present seniors Avnika Bali and Jana Cable with an Astronaut Scholarship and will share his experiences in space at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in Hall Auditorium.

Bali, a senior biochemistry and biological physics double major, and Cable, a senior microbiology major, are two of 45 students nationwide to be selected for the scholarship, worth up to $10,000, for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The Astronaut Scholarship is among the most significant merit-based scholarships awarded to undergraduate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) college students. The scholarships are supported by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF).

Avnika Bali and Jana Cable

Avnika Bali and Jana Cable to receive Astronaut Scholarships.

Duke was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in 1966. He served as Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for Apollo 11, the first landing on the moon, and he served as backup lunar module pilot on Apollo 13.

In 1972, Duke also served as a lunar module pilot on Apollo 16, the first scientific expedition to inspect, survey and sample materials and surface features in the Descartes region of the lunar highlands. After the completion of his first spaceflight, Duke had logged 265 hours in space and more than 21 hours of extra vehicular activity.
Following his retirement in 1975, Duke entered private business. He is owner of Duke Investments and is the president of Charlie Duke Enterprises. He is also an active speaker, a Christian lay witness and the president of Duke Ministry For Christ.

He received a bachelor’s degree in naval sciences from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1957 and a master’s degree in aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964.

Duke has received numerous governmental awards and decorations including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award. He is also the recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Duke's talk, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Miami University’s honors program.