Inspirational speakers to focus on "Reaching Your Potential"


SEATTLE, Jan. 11, 2012--On Feb. 4, The Museum of Flight commemorates Black History Month with an inspiring panel presentation, "Reaching Your Potential." Panelists include USAF and Alaska Airlines pilots, engineers and other aviation professionals discussing career opportunities in aerospace. The special guest panelist is retired astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., who is a veteran of two space shuttle flights, and he was the first African American to walk in space. Harris is president of The Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports math/science education and crime prevention programs for America's youth. The panel will be moderated by USAF Maj. Gen. Harold "Mitch" Mitchell. The program is at 2 p.m., and is free with admission to the Museum.

Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr.

Dr. Bernard Harris worked at NASA for ten years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis. Later, as Head of the Exercise Countermeasure Project, he conducted clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend astronaut stays in space. Selected into the Astronaut Corp in January 1990, Dr. Harris was a Mission Specialist on the space shuttle Columbia STS-55/Spacelab D-2 in 1993. As Payload Commander on the shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, he served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the first African American to walk in space. Harris has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.

Harris is currently Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm, that invests in early to mid-stage healthcare technologies and companies. He is also the founder of the Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports math/science education and crime prevention programs for America's youth.

Maj. Gen. Harold "Mitch" Mitchell

Maj. Gen. Harold Mitchell is Deputy Inspector General of the Air Force, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. Mitchell served with the U.S. Marine Corps flying the KC-130 Hercules. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 1983 as a traditional Reservist assigned to the 728th Airlift Squadron, which he later commanded. He also served as vice commander of the 446 Airlift Wing and the 4th Air Force and has more than 25 years experience as a commercial pilot.

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The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the William E. Boeing Red Barn® -- the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The Airpark includes outdoor displays with the first jet Air Force One, a Concorde airliner, and the first Boeing 747 jumbo jet. The Museum aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. The Education Office offers weekend family programs, programs for students and educators, and overnight camps for children. McCormick & Schmick's Wings Café is on site.


The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $13 for active military, $9 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

Ted Huetter

PR and Promotions Manager

Tara Cashman
Marketing & Promotions Coordinator