HERRINGTON: First Native American to Walk in Space
November 18, the first tribally registered Native American astronaut
will lift off into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour from
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the 16th American assembly flight to
the International Space
the mission, Astronaut John Bennett Herrington (Cmdr., USN), a member of
the Chickasaw Nation, will become the first Native American to walk in
as Endeavour’s flight engineer for launch and landing, Herrington will
be one of two astronauts conducting three spacewalks to install a
45-foot, 14-ton girder-like structure, called the Port 1 to the Station.
Once the remainder of the truss is complete, the structure will span
more than 300 feet to carry power, data and temperature control to the
electronic outpost of the Station.
along with crewmembers--Commander Jim Wetherbee,
Pilot Paul Lockhart,
and Mission Specialist Michael Lopez-Alegria,
will deliver the Expedition
Six Crew to the Station and return the Expedition
Five Crew to the Earth, which is the primary objective of the
mission. The Expedition Five crew will be returning home after five
months in orbit.
a native of Spain, will accompany Herrington during the spacewalks and
will wear a spacesuit bearing red stripes. Herrington will wear a
spacesuit bearing no markings.
honor his Native American heritage, Herrington will carry a flag of the
Chickasaw Nation with him into space. Herrington’s maternal
great-grandmother was of Chickasaw descent. Members of the Chickasaw
Nation and Elders from other tribes will be on hand to witness this
will launch between midnight and 4 a.m. EST from Kennedy
Space Center, Florida. A precise launch time will be announced about 24
hours before liftoff.
by NASA in April 1996, Herrington has logged over 3,300 flight hours in
over 30 different types of aircraft. He is an experienced Naval Aviator
and Naval Test Pilot. Following his tour as a test pilot, Herrington
attended the US Naval Postgraduate School where he earned a Master of
Science degree in aeronautical engineering. He is also a Sequoyah Fellow
with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
more information on the STS-113
mission and be sure to visit the image
gallery. Check out Herrington's biography
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November 4, 2002