14 November 2008

Endeavour (STS-126) to launch today.

Space shuttle Endeavour (mission STS-126) is still scheduled for launch this evening at 1955 EST.

As previously noted, the crew for this mission consists of commander Capt Christopher Ferguson (USN), pilot Lt Col Eric Boe (USAF), and mission specialists Capt Stephen Bowen (USN), Lt Col Robert Kimbrough (US Army), Capt Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper (USN) and Donald Pettit PhD. Additionally, Sandra Magnus PhD is being ferried up to the ISS to replace Expedition 17/18 flight engineer Gregory Chamitoff PhD, who went up on mission STS-124 in May.

I reported earlier that Capt Bowen - who served as a JO aboard USS Parche (SSN 683) and USS Pogy (SSN 647), as Eng aboard USS Augusta (SSN 710) and as PXO of USS Virginia (SSN 774) - would be the first submariner in space. It seems that honour actually belongs to Capt Michael J McCulley (USN, ret), the pilot for STS-34 (18-23 Oct 89), who served as an enlisted man aboard three submarines in the early 1960s before being commissioned as a Navy officer and becoming a pilot.

Left to right: Magnus, Bowen, Pettit, Ferguson, Boe,
Kimbrough and Stefanyshyn-Piper.

H/T to Rubber Ducky for the McCulley information.

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