At our annual unconference, we enjoy putting on an evening to remember. This year we have confirmed that Astronaut Chris Ferguson (@astro_ferg) to will be our featured Astronaut speaker prior to the Explore the Solar System Panel. As the Shuttle Commander for the last space shuttle mission (STS-135) we have asked him to speak about his historic experience and to share with us this thoughts on his personal transition from the NASA world to the Commercial Spaceflight industry. In December, Ferguson was named Director of Mission Operations at Boeing Space Exploration in Houston, TX and is helping design the CST-100 spacecraft.
Space Flight Experience
STS-115 Atlantis (September 9 to September 21, 2006) successfully restarted assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). During the 12-day mission, the crew delivered and installed the massive P3/P4 truss segment and two sets of solar arrays. The crew also performed more than 30 hours of robotic work using the shuttle robotic arm as well as three spacewalks to complete the truss installation.
STS-126 Endeavour (November 14 to November 30, 2008) launched at night from Kennedy Space Center and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California. On this 15-day “home improvement” mission, the crew delivered a water recycling system, two sleeping quarters, a kitchen, a space commode, exercise equipment and a combustion science experiment to the ISS. A total of four EVAs (spacewalks) by three members of the crew were performed to repair a balky rotary joint used to point the solar arrays at the sun.
STS-135/ULF7 Atlantis (July 8 to July 21, 2011) delivered approximately 10,000 pounds of supplies and spare parts to the ISS using the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM). Atlantis’ crew of four also delivered the robotic refueling module and returned a failed ammonia pump to help NASA improve pump designs for future systems. The mission also included one spacewalk by Expedition 28’s Mike Fossum and Ron Garan. STS-135 was the 37th shuttle mission to the ISS and the 33rd and final flight of Atlantis. The Space Shuttle Program came to a conclusion with Atlantis’ landing on July 21, 2011, after more than 30 years of service.
Can’t make it in person? Then we hope you can follow along at home as the whole weekend will be live-streamed by NASA.