NASA astronaut visits PPG Lake Charles plant
Employees learn how products are used on space shuttles
LAKE CHARLES, La., Jan. 24, 2007 – It is not often PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) employees get to witness the benefits of their work, but here today they had an opportunity to visit with NASA astronaut Ellen S. Baker, M.D., who used one of PPG’s silica products as she was blasted into orbit on three space shuttle missions.
PPG produces a grade of HI-SIL silica product that is used as a raw material in the case insulation for Alliant Techsystems’ (NYSE: ATK) reusable solid rocket motors (RSRM) on space shuttles.
“NASA wanted our employees to hear firsthand how the products they make directly impact the safety of our NASA astronauts in space,” said Jon Manns, PPG Lake Charles chemical plant manager. “Dr. Baker’s shuttle mission experiences illustrate the importance of our products used by the space program.”
The visit is part of a NASA supplier program that provides employees face-to face contact with the astronauts. Today’s visit was scheduled by ATK, and it included a tour of the facility and a presentation by Dr. Baker to all employees.
George Torres, ATK director of communications, said, “PPG employees have personally met the astronauts, and we hope they better understand how important their work is to the space program.”
Dr. Baker received a bachelor’s degree in geology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1974, a doctorate from Cornell University in 1978, and a master’s degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1994. After medical school, she trained in internal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1981.
Selected by NASA in May 1984, Dr. Baker became an astronaut in June 1985. She has performed a variety of jobs in support of the space shuttle and space station programs and the development of the Exploration Program. Dr. Baker has logged more than 686 total hours in space as a mission specialist on STS-34 in 1989, STS-50 in 1992 and STS-71 in 1995. Currently, she is NASA’s lead astronaut for medical issues and education programs.
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of coatings, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company employs more than 33,000 people and has 122 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 20 countries. Sales in 2006 were $11 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York and Philadelphia stock exchanges (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.
HI-SIL is a trademark of PPG Industries. is a trademark of PPG Industries.
Betsy Mallison Bialosky