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Thursday February 4th, 2016

Educators Honored by Legislature

Shinabery and Killebrew Receive Special Recognition

(Alamogordo, New Mexico, February 4, 2016) - New Mexico Museum of Space History Educator Michael Shinabery and New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired science teacher Jeffrey Killebrew were honored with a special proclamation of congratulations by the New Mexico House of Representatives on February 1, 2016, in recognition of their work with NASA’s SOFIA program.

IMAGE: Speaker of the House Don L. Tripp (left), Michael Shinabery, Jeffrey Killebrew, and Representative Yvette Herrell pose for a photo during a short break of the Legislature. Shinabery and Killebrew are holding the Legislative Proclamation they just received

Speaker of the House Don L. Tripp (left), Michael Shinabery, Jeffrey Killebrew, and Representative Yvette Herrell pose for a photo during a short break of the Legislature. Shinabery and Killebrew are holding the Legislative Proclamation they just received

Shinabery and Killebrew were the first New Mexicans to be chosen to fly on SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) which is a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). According to the NASA website, SOFIA is the largest airborne observatory in the world, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground based telescopes. The flying observatory is a Boeing 747SP retrofitted with a 2.5 meter reflecting telescope along with a host of other instrumentation.

The Legislative Proclamation, introduced by Representative Yvette Herrell, cites the “outstanding achievement and exceptional accomplishment” of both men and directs that “this official expression of its gratitude and pride be forthwith proclaimed on behalf of the People of the State of New Mexico”.

“I really appreciate Representative Herrell recognizing how important our experience was, not only for us as individuals but also for the knowledge that we can now share with visitors and youth who come to our museum, as well as the recognition it brings to what truly is a world class institution right here in Alamogordo,” said Shinabery. “It is also a privilege to be able to partner with Jeff and his school to create hands on learning tools that will help the visually impaired experience what we see, and sometimes don’t see, in space.”

“It is a great honor to be recognized by Representative Herrell and our Legislature, it was totally unexpected,” said Killebrew. “I am proud to be able to work with Michael to represent both our community and respective organizations as we share the tremendous work SOFIA engages in.”

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at www.nmspacemuseum.org. Like us at: www.facebook.com/NMSpaceMuseum.