Aerospace Engineering alumnus heading for International Space Station

Aerospace Engineering alumnus Michael S. Hopkins will embark upon his first mission as an astronaut when he travels to the International Space Station in September.

Hopkins, BS 92, will join the ranks of other University of Illinois astronauts, Col. Lee Archambault, BS 82, MS 84; Capt. Scott D. Altman, BS 81; Col. Steven R. Nagel, BS 69; Joseph R. Tanner, BS 73 Mechanical Science & Engineering; and Dale A. Gardner, BS 70 Engineering Physics.

Hopkins, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, is in the final phase of his mission training as he and his crewmates prepare for their Sept. 25 launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Hopkins will be traveling with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy.

Hopkins was selected in July 2009 as one of 14 members of that year’s NASA astronaut class. He recently graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station (ISS) systems, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training.

Hopkins was Team Captain of the 1991 University of Illinois football team and was a Distinguished Graduate of the Reserve Officers Training Corps while he was on campus. He has earned several medals for his work throughout his career, and had served as a special assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.




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