After rocketing into space as a NASA astronaut, John B. Herrington is now working on a new venture: a vehicle that will take private citizens into space.
Herrington now serves as Vice President/Director of Flight Systems at Rocketplane Limited, Inc. Take the opportunity to ask Capt. Herrington about his spaceflight experiences by participating in a live online chat on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005 from 11:00 a.m. to noon Central time. Teachers, students, and the general public are encouraged to submit questions prior to or during the designated chat time by visiting this website.
Capt. Herrington (USN) is the first Native American to fly and walk in space and is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Born in Wetumka, Okla., Herrington has logged 330 hours in space, including nearly 20 hours of extra-vehicular activity, since NASA selected him as an astronaut candidate in 1996. As Mission Specialist aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-113 (Nov. 23 to Dec. 7, 2002), he exhibited spectacular skill assembling and repairing the International Space Station as part of the mission. Throughout his career with NASA and the United States Navy, Herrington has logged more than 4,000 flight hours in more than 30 different types of aircraft. He retired from his position with NASA Johnson Space Center to join the Rocketplane team.
Herrington began his career by earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in 1983 and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1995. The recipient of numerous honors, Herrington was a Distinguished Naval Graduate from Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1984. He was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, NASA Space Flight Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, and various other service honors.
Space Explorers, Inc., the space education company sponsoring the chat, strives to inspire a new generation of explorers to pursue careers in science, math, and technology through its Internet-based programs and activities. Space Explorers offers standards-based curricula, mission simulations, and experiments that incorporate actual NASA data. More than 4,600 teachers across the United States are currently registered to use Space Explorers programming in their classrooms.