Astronaut Christopher J. Ferguson 8"x10" Full Colour Portrait
STS-135 Mission Commander
Christopher J. Ferguson (CAPTAIN, USN, RET.)
PERSONAL DATA: Born September 1, 1961, in Philadelphia, PA. Married to the former Sandra A. Cabot. They have three children. Recreational interests include golf, woodworking and drumming for Max Q, a rock and roll band. His mother, Mary Ann Pietras, and stepfather, Norman Pietras, reside in Langhorne, PA. Sandra’s mother, Trudy, resides in Plymouth Valley, PA.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Archbishop Ryan High School, Philadelphia, PA, 1979; received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University, 1984 and a master of science in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, 1991.
AWARDS: Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Strike/Flight Air Medal, NASA Spaceflight Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three), Navy Achievement Medal and various other service awards/citations.
EXPERIENCE: Ferguson was commissioned from the Navy ROTC program at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Navy Wings in 1986 and was ordered to the F-14 Tomcat training squadron in Virginia Beach, VA. After a brief period of instruction, he joined the “Red Rippers” of VF-11, deploying to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian oceans onboard the USS Forrestal (CV-59). While with VF-11, he also attended the Navy Fighter Weapon School (TOPGUN). He was selected for the Naval Postgraduate/Test Pilot School program in 1989. Through June 1994, he served as the F-14D weapon separation project officer, becoming the first pilot to release several types of air-to-ground weapons from the Tomcat. He joined the “Checkmates” of VF-211 in 1995, completing a deployment to the Western Pacific/Persian Gulf in defense of the Iraqi no-fly zone onboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68). He briefly served as the logistics officer for the Atlantic Fleet prior to his selection to the space program.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Ferguson reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1998. Following the completion of 2 years of training, he was assigned technical duties in the Spacecraft Systems Branch associated with the shuttle main engine, external tank, solid rocket boosters and software. He also served as spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for the STS-118, 120, 128 and 129 missions. Ferguson was the pilot of STS-115 and commanded STS-126. He has logged over 28 days in space. From November 2009 to September 2010, Ferguson served as deputy chief of the Astronaut Office. He has been selected to command a crew of four on STS-135/ULF7, a station cargo delivery mission that will carry the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), Raffaello. The crew of STS-135 has been in training since September 2010, and the launch is currently scheduled for the summer of 2011.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE:STS-115 Atlantis (September 9 to September 21, 2006) successfully restarted assembly of the International Space Station. 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 the 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. 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. They also delivered a resident to the station, replacing Greg Chamitoff with Sandy Magnus.
Currently serving as the mission commander for STS-135.