Headlines > News > Sculptor James J. Todd to Unveil Ansari X-Prize Trophy at Science Center

Sculptor James J. Todd to Unveil Ansari X-Prize Trophy at Science Center

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:25 pm
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biz.yahoo.com/prnews: DETROIT, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Cheick Modibo Diarra, an aerospace engineer of international repute, will visit The New Detroit Science Center on Saturday, Feb. 12, to speak about his life and space exploration. In addition to Dr. Diarra’s presentations, the Science Center also will host Michigan Sculptor James J. Todd, who will unveil the Ansari X-Prize sculpture to be on display through Feb. 28, 2005.

Dr. Cheick Modibo Diarra is an aerospace engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and an interplanetary navigator for five major space missions including the Mars Pathfinder and the Mars Observer. Dr. Diarra was also the Manager of the Mars Exploration’s education and public outreach program, which increased excitement about science and mathematics among children in the United States through their direct experience with the Mars missions. As a result of this work and his other accomplishments, Dr. Diarra was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) to promote science and technology education, as well as the development of entrepreneurs. Dr. Diarra also received the Africa-America year 2000 award for Science Education.

Sculptor James J. Todd, a resident of Troy, studied architecture at Lawrence Technology Institute, automotive design at the Center for Creative Studies, Industrial Education, and photography at Oakland Community College. Todd is currently working on a series of astronaut sculptures, recently completing the first of four in a series, the “Apollo 11 Salute.” Todd won an international competition with his artwork and was chosen from a field of 50 other artists. His piece was chosen to represent the trophy for the X-Prize Foundation which had a $10 million prize to give away to the person or group of persons who builds and flies a spaceship carrying three people to an altitude of 62 miles or more, twice in two weeks. Todd also is a member of the National Sculptor Society, International Sculpture Center, and International Association For Astronomical Arts, and an added artist to NASA’s Space program.

In addition to the public presentations, the Science Center also will host a private reception with Dr. Diarra and James J. Todd on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 5:00 p.m. Tickets for this event are $25 per person or $40 per couple. For more information about this event please call David Gensor at 313-577-8400, ext. 440.

The New Detroit Science Center features 110,000 square feet of scientific exploration, including Michigan’s only IMAX(R) Dome Theatre; the Dassault Systemes Planetarium; the Ford Learning Resource Center; the DTE Energy Sparks Theater; the DaimlerChrysler Science Stage; an 8,700 square-foot Science Hall for traveling exhibits; five exhibit laboratories — General Motors Motion Laboratory, Dow Foundation Life Sciences Laboratory, Waves & Vibrations Laboratory, Jean and Sam Frankel Matter & Energy Laboratory and SBC Children’s Gallery; and a Special Events Lobby. It has served more than 1.2 million visitors in its first 3 years. For more information, please call 313-577-8400 or visit the website, http://www.detroitsciencecenter.org

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