Headlines > News > Astronaut John B. Herrington Joins Rocketplane® Team

Astronaut John B. Herrington Joins Rocketplane® Team

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Oct 22, 2005 12:02 am
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Press release: Rocketplane® Limited, Inc. has made an important new addition to the team: Oklahoma astronaut John B. Herrington joined the company Sept. 6, 2005 as Vice President/Director of Flight Operations. He will also serve as Chief Test Pilot for the XP Spaceplane.
“It is an honor and privilege to return to Oklahoma and participate in the development of the next generation of space travel. Our state has a proud history with respect to aviation and aerospace,” Herrington said. “Rocketplane is poised to bring commercial space travel to the general public, and I look forward to helping make that a reality!”

Capt. Herrington (USN) is the first Native American to fly and walk in space and is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Born in Wetumka, Okla., Herrington has logged 330 hours in space, including nearly 20 hours of extra-vehicular activity, since NASA selected him as an astronaut candidate in 1996. As Mission Specialist aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-113 (Nov. 23 to Dec. 7, 2002), he exhibited spectacular skill assembling and repairing the International Space Station as part of the mission. Throughout his career with NASA and the United States Navy, Herrington has logged more than 4,000 flight hours in more than 30 different types of aircraft. He retired from his position with NASA Johnson Space Center to join the Rocketplane team.

“John is a NASA astronaut, however, it is his many spectacular talents and abilities that make him valuable to the Rocketplane team,” said Rocketplane President George French. “He is a military test pilot, knows flight avionics and astronautics, and knows the environment of space. To us, John is an asset in that he brings education, knowledge, experience, and skills to finish and test our spaceplane, which will regularly take civilian astronauts into space.”

Herrington began his career by earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in 1983 and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1995. The recipient of numerous honors, Herrington was a Distinguished Naval Graduate from Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1984. He was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, NASA Space Flight Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, and various other service honors.

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