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Alumnus Chris Ferguson Pilots Space Shuttle
Captain Christopher J. Ferguson, a 1984 mechanical engineering graduate, will pilot Space Shuttle Atlantis for NASA’s STS-115 mission. Due to inclement weather, the mission was delayed from its late August launch date. This is Ferguson’s first space mission. He was selected by NASA in 1998 and is stationed at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
During the 11-day mission, Atlantis’ six-member crew will travel to the International Space Station to resume construction on the station. The mission includes three spacewalks.
Ferguson will operate the shuttle’s robotic arm to maneuver a 17-ton truss segment to the station and inspect the shuttle heat shield. As part of Atlantis’ mission, the new segment of the station’s truss backbone, which includes giant solar arrays, batteries and electronics, will be installed.
Ferguson graduated from Philadelphia’s Archbishop Ryan High School. He also attended Naval Postgraduate School, earning a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 1991. After two years of training at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Ferguson was assigned technical duties in the operations branch of the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems. For information about Ferguson’s career, visit www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/ferguson.html.