Haise to present ‘pusharatta-sized’ moon rock to Gorenflo today

Representatives of Stennis Space Center, who are able to explain the complexities of aeronautics and space flight, were left scratching their heads the other day when a question came up about the size of a moon rock that Apollo 13 astronaut and Biloxi native Fred Haise is presenting today to Gorenflo Elementary School, his boyhood school.

“It’s about the size of a pusharatta,” Gorenflo Principal Tina Thompson told the handful of Stennis staffers and Biloxi Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul A. Tisdale.

The NASA folks, as well as nationwide online audience, will have a chance to see the size of the Slavonian pastry today at lunchtime when NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will present Haise with NASA’s Ambassador of Exploration Award during a ceremony at Gorenflo.

Haise will present the award, consisting of a golf ball-sized moon rock encased in Lucite for display, to Biloxi Public Schools for permanent display at Gorenflo.

NASA is giving the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for realizing America’s goal of going to the moon. The moon rock is part of the 842 pounds of lunar samples collected during six Apollo expeditions from 1969 to 1972.

Although guests at the ceremony today are limited primarily to Gorenflo schoolchildren, NASA’s Digital Learning Network website will carry live coverage of the ceremony today from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. To visit the Digital Learning Network, click here.

News and notes

Eisenhower Stop sign: Motorists traveling south on Eisenhower Drive will be greeted by a Stop sign at U.S. 90 while the city makes repairs to a traffic controller cabinet that was destroyed by a vehicle accident. Traffic signals are in the flashing mode — yellow for Beach Boulevard traffic and red for Eisenhower traffic — for the next day or two, while repairs are made. Motorists should use caution in the area.

Flooding update: The National Weather Service has canceld the Coastal Flood Watch for Harrison County. Also, the
Tchoutacabouffa River, which stood at 2.5 feet at this morning’s low tide, is now expected to crest at 10 feet this Wednesday evening, and the Biloxi River, which now stands at 7.10 feet, is expected to crest this evening at 13.5 feet. As of this morning, rainfall amounts throughout Harrison County were less than 2.5 inches, and colder tempoeratures are forecast for the region for the next couple of days.
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