NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and astronaut candidate Zena Cardman will visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) Wednesday to Thursday, Nov. 6-7, to discuss the agency’s Artemis program. Their visit is part of the university’s annual Research Week, which celebrates Carolina research and inspires students and faculty to explore new ideas.

Media are invited to attend several events, including an interview availability with Bridenstine and Cardman who is an alumna of the university where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Marine Sciences. Media interested in attending the following opportunities should contact Clare Skelly at and Leslie Minton at by noon EST Nov. 6.

Wednesday, Nov. 6

  • 3 to 3:45 p.m. – Bridenstine and Cardman will speak to media and answer questions in front of the Morehead Planetarium sundial, located at 250 E. Franklin St.
  • 5 to 6:15 p.m. – Public NASA talk in the university’s Memorial Hall, located at 114 E. Cameron Ave. Non-media interested in attending may request a free ticket online.

Thursday, Nov. 7

  • 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – UNC-Chapel Hill will host a NASA Day in the Carolina Student Union, located at 209 South Rd. Bridenstine will deliver the keynote address at 9:30 a.m. Throughout the day, NASA leaders will share opportunities for attendees to get involved in the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration and technology development activities. Students, research faculty, regional institutions and local businesses interested in attending must register online by Thursday, Oct. 31.

NASA’s Artemis program includes sending a suite of new science instruments and technology demonstrations to study the Moon, landing the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024, and establishing a sustained presence by 2028. The agency will leverage its Artemis experience and technologies to prepare for the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

Astronaut Candidate Zena Cardman

As an undergraduate researcher – and later a master’s student – in Marine Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill, Cardman studied microorganisms in subsurface environments, ranging from caves to deep sea sediments. Cardman’s field experience includes multiple Antarctic expeditions, work aboard research vessels, and NASA analog missions in British Columbia, Idaho, and Hawaii. Cardman was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class and reported for duty in August 2017. After completing her training, Cardman will be assigned technical duties in the NASA Astronaut Office while she awaits a flight assignment.

Follow America’s Moon to Mars exploration at: