John Tylko ’79 recently shared a handful of photos from space shuttle Discovery’s February 24 launch. The shuttle returns to Earth later today to cap a 27-year spaceflight career before heading to a yet unchosen museum. Stay tuned for photos of the landing!
Two of Tylko’s photos are posted below (plus a couple from NASA). Scroll all the way down to read a short bio of alumnus Steve Bowen ENG ’93, a crew member on the Discovery mission.
Want to learn more about Bowen? Tylko wrote a brief bio describing the alumnus’s career:
“Bowen was born in Cohasset Massachusetts in 1964. He graduated from Cohasset High School in 1982 and from the United States Naval Academy in 1986. He received the Degree of Ocean Engineer from MIT in 1993. Bowen is a US Navy Captain and was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2000.
Bowen became the first astronaut to fly on consecutive US space missions. He was a crew member of the STS-132 mission on space shuttle Atlantis from May 14 to 26, 2010. He wasn’t originally scheduled to fly on STS-133 until the lead spacewalker, Timothy Kopra, was injured in a bicycling accident in January. Bowen was selected to replace Kopra based on his spacewalking experience and his role as chief of the EVA branch of the Astronaut Office.
During his three space shuttle missions, Bowen completed seven spacewalks, totaling 47 hours and 18 minutes in EVA (extravehicular activity).
NASA astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman ’83 is currently on board the International Space Station. She was launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on December 15, 2010 on a six month long endurance mission. This marks the fifteenth time that two or more MIT trained astronauts are simultaneously in space.
Discovery is in its 39th and final space shuttle mission. Discovery was launched on February 24, 2011 and is scheduled to return to the Kennedy Space Center on March 9, 2011.
Next month, space shuttle Atlantis will deliver the MIT developed Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. Two of the crew members for the STS-134 mission are also MIT alumni: Edward “Mike” Fincke ’89 and Gregory E. Chamitoff PhD ’92.”
Special thanks to John Tylko for sharing his photos and bio!