The veteran NASA astronaut leading the recent SpaceX mission is Shane Kimbrough, a 1998 Georgia Tech graduate with a master’s degree in operations research from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 2004 and completed his first spaceflight in 2008 on the space shuttle Endeavour.

Kimbrough’s team of four includes astronauts from the United States, Japan, and France, and they will be spending six months at the International Space Station. “Glad to be back in space,” Kimbrough radioed when their capsule was in orbit, according to the article.

Elon Musk met with the astronauts at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center before they left for the launch, which took place an hour before sunrise and drew many spectators. This marks the third crew flight in less than a year for SpaceX, and it is also the first time the aerospace company has reused a capsule and rocket to launch astronauts for NASA.

You can read the entire article about the launch here.

Shane Kimbrough (Credit: John Raoux)

Launch (Credit: Aubrey Gemignani)

Shane Kimbrough and his team

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Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering