Drexel Engineering Celebrates Chris Ferguson and NASA's Final Shuttle Launch
July 1, 2011 The College of Engineering is pleased to host it’s first Space Shuttle Launch Party to honor the launch of NASA’s final space shuttle mission. The space shuttle Atlantis, which is being commanded by astronaut and Drexel alumnus, Chris Ferguson, is scheduled to launch on Friday, July 8 at 11:26AM. To celebrate this momentous event, Drexel Engineering will be broadcasting the launch live in the Bossone lobby at 11AM on Friday, July 8 with free food and refreshments for all who attend.
A Philadelphia native, Ferguson, who has spent more than 28 days in space, piloted Atlantis on mission STS-115 in 2006 before commanding Endeavor on mission STS-126 in 2008, delivering a water recycling system, sleeping quarters, a kitchen, space commode, exercise equipment and a combustion science experiment to the International Space Station. He also served as lead spacecraft communicator for mission STS-118 by Endeavor in 2007.
In addition to receiving an honorary degree from Drexel in 2009, Ferguson was also the University's 2009 Engineer of the Year. He was selected to be an astronaut in 1998, the third Drexel alumnus to be chosen by NASA, following James P. Bagian '73 and Paul Richards '87.
When asked about the final launch, Ferguson said, “I would like to personally thank the Drexel community for their support and encouragement throughout the years. Like all of the fine Drexel students, the foundation of what I became was set during my years as a Dragon. I watched STS-1 launch from the Creese student center. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that 30 years later I personally would command the mission that put the period at the end of the Space Shuttle program. If you can imagine it, you can do it."
Please join us in celebrating 30 years of NASA’s Space Shuttle program and to watch Chris Ferguson blast off one last time.