Ex-astronaut who helped with UND project to speak

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Associated Press

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 25 at 5:30 AM

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A former astronaut who had a hand in a University of North Dakota aerospace project is scheduled to speak on the Grand Forks campus.

Mario Runco Jr. joined NASA in 1987 and remained on active duty as an astronaut until 1994. His first of several space shuttle missions was aboard the Atlantis in 1991.

Runco, who turns 61 on Saturday, currently serves as an Earth and planetary scientist. He helped with the placement of an International Space Station agriculture camera designed and built by UND students.

Runco's lecture, held in conjunction with a UND class on observations from the space station, is set for 10 a.m. Friday in the lecture bowl at Clifford Hall.

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