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Astronauts

Purdue University has had 22 alumni selected for space flight. Purdue astronauts include the first man to set foot on the moon, Neil A. Armstrong, and the last man to leave it, Eugene A. Cernan.

  • Neil A. Armstrong, BSAE ’55, selected for astronaut training in 1962; command pilot, Gemini VIII, 1966; spacecraft commander, Apollo 11, first manned mission to land on the moon, 1969; retired from the space program, 1971.
  • John E. Blaha, MSAE ’66, selected for astronaut training in 1980; pilot, Shuttle Flight 29, 1989; pilot, Shuttle Flight 33, 1989; commander, Shuttle Flight 43, 1991; commander, Shuttle Flight 58, 1993; Mir Space Station, September 1996–January 1997; retired from NASA, 1997.
  • Roy D. Bridges Jr., MSAE ’66, selected for astronaut training in 1980; pilot, Shuttle Mission 51-F, 1985; left space program, 1986.
  • Mark N. Brown, BSAE ’73, NASA engineer since 1980; selected for astronaut training in 1984; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 28, 1989; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 48, 1991; left space program, 1993.
  • John H. Casper, MSAE ’67, selected for astronaut training in 1984; shuttle pilot, Shuttle Flight 36, 1990; commander, Shuttle Flight 54, 1993; commander, Shuttle Flight 62, 1994; commander, Shuttle Flight 77, 1996; retired from Air Force, 1996.
  • Eugene A. Cernan, BSEE ’56, selected for astronaut training in 1963; pilot, Gemini IX, 1966, set spacewalk endurance record; lunar module pilot, Apollo 10, 1969; commander, Apollo 17 moon mission, 1972; retired from space program, 1976.
  • Roger B. Chaffee, BSAE ’57, member of the third group of astronauts selected in 1963; killed in Apollo training accident, January 27, 1967.
  • Richard O. Covey, MSAE ’69, selected for astronaut training in 1978; pilot, Shuttle Mission 51-I, 1985; pilot, Shuttle Flight 26, the first post-Challenger flight, 1988; commander, Shuttle Flight 38, 1990; commander, Shuttle Flight 61, 1993.
  • Andrew J. Feustel, BSEAS ’89, MSEAS ’91, selected for astronaut training in 2000, completed training in 2001; mission specialist, Shuttle Mission STS-125, final mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, 2009.
  • Guy S. Gardner, MSAE ’70, selected for astronaut training in 1980; pilot, Shuttle Flight 27, 1988; pilot, Shuttle Flight 35, 1990; left space program, 1991.
  • Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, BSME ’50, selected as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts in 1959; pilot, Liberty Bell 7, second American in space, 1961; command pilot, first manned Gemini flight, 1965; first to fly more than one mission in space; killed in Apollo training accident in 1967 that also claimed the lives of Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
  • Gregory J. Harbaugh, BSAAE ’78, selected for astronaut training, 1987; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 39, 1991; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 54, 1993; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 71, 1995; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 82, 1997.
  • Michael J. McCulley, BSMSE ’70, MSMSE ’70, selected for astronaut training in 1984; pilot, Shuttle Flight 34, 1989; retired from space program, 1990.
  • Gary E. Payton, MSAAE ’72, Air Force Manned Space Flight Engineer Program since 1980; selected for space flight by the Air Force in 1983; defense payload specialist, Shuttle Flight 51-C, 1985.
  • Mark L. Polansky, BSAAE ’78, MSAAE ’78, selected for astronaut training, 1996; pilot, Shuttle Flight 98, 2001.
  • Jerry L. Ross, BSME ’70, MSME ’72, selected for astronaut training in 1980; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 61-B, 1985; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 27, 1988; mission specialist and EVA, Shuttle Flight 37, 1991; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 55, 1993; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 74, 1995; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 88, 1998.
  • Loren J. Shriver, MSAE ’68, selected for astronaut training in 1978; pilot, Shuttle Mission 51-C, 1985; commander, Shuttle Flight 31, 1990; commander, Shuttle Flight 46, 1992.
  • Janice E. Voss, BSES ’75, selected for astronaut training in 1990; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 57, 1993; Shuttle Flight 63, 1995; payload commander, Shuttle Flight 83, 1997; payload commander, Shuttle Flight 94, 1997; Shuttle Flight 99, 2000.
  • Charles D. Walker, BSAAE ’71, McDonnell Douglas engineer since 1977; payload specialist, first civilian in space, Shuttle Mission 41-D, 1984; payload specialist, Shuttle Missions 51-D, 1985, and 61-B, 1985.
  • Mary E. Weber, BSChE ’84, selected for astronaut training in 1992; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 70, 1995; Shuttle Flight 101, 2000.
  • Donald E. Williams, BSME ’64, selected for astronaut training in 1978; pilot, Shuttle Mission 51-D, 1985; commander, Shuttle Flight 34, 1989; retired from space program, 1989.
  • David A. Wolf, BSEE ’78, selected for astronaut training in 1990; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 58, 1993; Mir Space Station, September 1997–January 1998; mission specialist, Shuttle Flight 112, 2002.

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