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Dunwoody resident shares passion for space exploration as NASA ambassador


A recent presentation by Tom Dworschak includes a picture of his 93-ear-old mother, Joan, looking through his telescope (Provided).

By day, Tom Dworschak practices law for the US Department of Justice. By night, he shares his passion for all things “solar” as a NASA ambassador with groups in Dunwoody and beyond.

The Dunwoody resident and self-proclaimed “space geek” is one of 1,300 NASA Solar System Ambassadors, whose mission is to spread the word about NASA‘s space exploration missions, with a particular emphasis on NASA’s crewed space flight programs and the Hubble and Webb space telescopes.

“We are excited to tell everyone what we know about space and what we don’t know too,” he said. “We talk to schools groups, men’s clubs, senior citizen gatherings, and anyone else who wants us to come see them. No group is too big or two small.”

Recently, Dworschak’s attention has been focused on the upcoming April 8 solar eclipse, which will block about 82% of the sun in the Georgia sky around 3 p.m.

“My presentation includes instructions on what will be happening, how to use the eclipse glasses and how to safely watch the event,” he said. “We just need to hope for a clear day for viewing.”

Dworschak has hosted talks at the Dunwoody Nature Center, senior living facilities, and schools that focus on stars, the Hubble and Webb Space telescopes, and Apollo’s trips to the moon, a topic that is near to his heart.

“I was born in 1958, so I remember all those trips to the moon, which to me is just fascinating,” he said.

A seven-year-old Tom Dworschak with his Fireball XL% rocket ship is shown as part of the Dunwoody resident’s presentation.

During Dworschak’s presentations to school groups, he is most often asked if there “is anything out there,” like civilizations similar to Earth and its galaxy system. Adults want to know when NASA is going to launch another expedition to the moon, and how much the space program costs.

The NASA Solar System Ambassadors has a rigorous qualification program for those who want to join the volunteer program, Dworschak said, with candidates having to undergo a background check, supply references, and write a letter of intention about why they want to be in the program.

Once accepted, the ambassadors receive access to databases, webinars, and real-time NASA data to use while preparing their presentations.

“NASA doesn’t require us to give the party line,” Dworschak said. “We make our own interpretation of the facts.”

His childhood hobby has become a labor love for him, and he thinks others who participate in the ambassador program or hear one of their presentations will feel the same.

“You don’t need a technical background to appreciate NASA’s achievements. All you need is a little curiosity and a healthy sense of wonder,” he said

For more information about the Solar System Ambassador program, click here. Dworschak also has his own website with information about his presentations.



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