NOVA hosted NASA Astronaut Andrew Feustel for a presentation at the Alexandria Campus Center for Design, Media and the Arts, where he discussed his impressive career and experiences as an astronaut.
Dr. Feustel was selected by NASA in 2000 and is a veteran of three spaceflights. After his Space Shuttle mission in 2009 and in 2011, Dr. Fuestel served as Commander of the International Space Station (ISS) from June to October 2018. He is still an active astronaut.
In 2009, Dr. Feustel served on STS-125. That mission launched on Atlantis and was the fifth and final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope that improved the observatory’s capabilities through 2014. Dr. Feustel also served on STS-134, launching on Endeavour to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPress Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station. Most recently, he served as Commander on the International Space Station for Expedition 55 and 56.
Over the course of his six-month stay aboard the space station, Dr. Feustel and his crew conducted close to 300 experiments supporting research and ongoing investigations that provide insight into human adaptation to long duration exposure to microgravity. This research will help the nation’s space program as we build a sustainable presence on the Moon and make that next giant leap on to Mars.
Dr. Feustel logged 197 days in space during Expeditions 55 and 56. He has spent a total of 226 days in space on his three flights.
Dr. Feustel knows the value of a community college education, having started his academic career at Oakland Community College where he earned an associate degree. “I think what was great about community college for me is that it allowed me to explore different options and different interests,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to learn what my skills and strengths were, and what I wanted to do and pursue as I grew up.”
A Lake Orion, Michigan, native, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Solid Earth Sciences and a Master of Science in Geophysics, from Purdue University. He then earned a Ph.D. in the Geological Sciences, specializing in Seismology from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.