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TTU Trustee Named Commander Of NASA Launch

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TTU Trustee Named Commander Of NASA Launch

Tennessee Tech Board Of Trustees member Barry “Butch” Wilmore will lead the first crewed flight of the CST-100 Starliner launching to the International Space Station

That after original crew member Chris Ferguson decided not to fly for personal reasons. Wilmore has been training since 2018 to command next year’s voyage to the space station.

NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Kathy Lueders said Wilmore’s experience makes him a good fit for the mission.

“Butch will be able to step in seamlessly, and his previous experience on both space shuttle and space station missions make him a valuable addition to this flight,” Lueders said.“Chris has been a talented member of the crew for this mission. The NASA and Boeing Commercial Crew teams sincerely appreciate the invaluable work he has completed and he will continue to lead in the development of Starliner, which will help ensure that the Starliner Crew Flight Test will be a success.”

Wilmore has spent a total of 178 days in space over the course of two missions. In 2009, he served as the pilot of space shuttle Atlantis on STS-129, helping to deliver 14 tons of spare parts for the space station.

In 2014, he returned to the space station via a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for a 167-day mission, during which he performed four spacewalks. The CST-100 Boeing Starliner has had two successful uncrewed flights.

Wilmore has served as a university trustee since 2017 and was a team captain of the Tennessee Tech football team. Wilmore was inducted into the university’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. He currently holds the number two spot in Tech’s record books for most tackles in a game, and number three on tackles per season.


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