Maine astronaut retires after 17 years with NASA

Cassidy spent a total of 378 days in space throughout her time at NASA.

HOUSTON, Texas – Astronaut Chris Cassidy announced his retirement from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US Navy on Thursday. Her last day of work was Friday.

Cassidy made the announcement in a video tweeted by Jamie Groh, space flight reporter for

A veteran of three space flights, he spent 17 years with NASA. Of those 28 years in the Navy, he spent 11 as a member of the US Navy SEALs. He made four six-month deployments: two in Afghanistan and two in the Mediterranean, according to his NASA biography.

“It was an incredible race. We had so many wonderful opportunities both on the ground, in the air and in space – and under the water,” Cassidy said in the video tweeted Thursday. “Just so privileged. I feel so lucky to have been able to work with the people that I have had, to have the mentors that I have had, the friendships that I have developed all over the world, and I just wanted to say thank you.”

Cassidy was born in Salem, MA, but moved to Maine when he was young. He considers York, Maine, to be his hometown. He attended York High School before attending Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island. He graduated in 1989.

Cassidy filmed the announcement of his retirement from the Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab, saying he took a moment up the stairs to “soak up it all and think about the peculiarity of concluding the career I have.” had ”.

RELATED: After 196 Days in Space, NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy Returns Home

“I want to thank each of you,” he said. “If you are listening and our lives have intersected at some point in these 28 years, thank you for being a teammate and thank you for being a friend, and thank you very much.”

Cassidy spent a total of 378 days in space throughout his time at NASA, where he was selected as an astronaut in 2004. His last mission lasted 196 days, during which he served as the commander of the International Space Station for Expedition 63.

In Cassidy’s NASA Biography, the following information is provided on its space flights:

STS-127 (July 15 to July 31, 2009). Cassidy served as a mission specialist aboard the Endeavor for this International Space Station assembly mission 2J / A. Cassidy was the 500th person in history to fly in space. The crew delivered the Japanese Experiment Module – Exposed Facility (JEM – EF) and the Exposed Section of the Experimental Logistics Module (ELM – ES) to the station. They completed construction of the KIBO JEM, set up science experiments at its on-display facility, and delivered critical spares and replacement batteries.

Expedition 35 (March 28 to September 10, 2013). Cassidy served as a flight engineer and traveled to the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-08M (US designation: 34S), which took off from the Baikonur Commodore in Kazakhstan. The three crew members were the first to complete an expedited docking at the station – instead of taking the standard two days to get to and dock, they got to the complex in orbit in six hours.

Expedition 63 (April 9 to October 21, 2020). Cassidy served as the commander and flew to the station aboard Soyuz, which took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Cassidy and fellow astronaut Robert Behnken conducted four spacewalks, totaling 23 hours and 37 minutes, to upgrade the station’s batteries. While at the station, he contributed to hundreds of experiments, including a study of the influence of gravity on the release of electrolytic gas, which examines bubbles created by electrolysis. Cassidy has also worked with Astrobee, cube-shaped flying robots that could one day help astronauts with their routine tasks, and conducted research for the Onco-Selectors experiment, which harnesses microgravity to identify targeted therapies against the cancer. He spent a total of 196 days in space.

Cassidy performed a total of ten spacewalks, but two were particularly noteworthy. On May 11, 2013, Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn conducted an unplanned spacewalk to replace a pump control box suspected of being the source of an ammonia coolant leak, and on July 16 2013, he and Luca Parmitano had their spacewalk interrupted when Parmitano had cooling water seeping into his helmet covering his face with water. Overall, Cassidy has racked up 54 hours, 51 minutes of walking in space, and 378 days in space.

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Joaquin Robertson

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