Press Release

Astronaut Leroy Chiao Leaves NASA

By SpaceRef Editor
December 5, 2005
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Veteran International Space Station commander, spacewalker and three-time Space Shuttle flier Leroy Chiao has retired from NASA.

Chiao is the first Asian-American and ethnic Chinese to fly in space and perform a spacewalk. He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1990 and flew his first mission in July 1994. On his second flight, STS-72 in January 1996, Chiao performed two spacewalks to demonstrate tools, hardware and techniques for space station assembly.

Chiao conducted two more spacewalks during his final shuttle mission, STS-92 in October 2000, to configure the space station’s Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3.

In October 2004, Chiao visited the station again as commander of a six-month mission on the orbiting laboratory. He returned to Earth in April. Chiao also served as NASA Science Officer during that mission, helping to lead 20 scientific experiments. He performed two station-based repair and installation spacewalks. Chiao holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“As a veteran of four missions and six spacewalks, Leroy’s been a valued team member and has provided extensive expertise to the nation’s space flight program,” said Ken Bowersox, Flight Crew Operations Director. “We wish him continued success in his future.”

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SpaceRef staff editor.