Space

June 18, 2012

NASA astronauts Kenneth Ham, Nicholas Patrick leave agency

NASA astronauts Kenneth Ham and Nicholas Patrick have left the space agency. Their last day was May 31.

Ham is a veteran of two spaceflights, where he served as the pilot of STS-124 in 2008 and commander of STS-132 in 2010. Patrick served as a mission specialist on STS-116 in 2006 and STS-130 in 2010.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Ken during his tenure here at JSC,” said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “He is an incredibly accomplished aviator and with a great sense of humor. We wish him the best in this new phase of his career.”

Ham, a Navy captain, holds a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He joined NASA in 1998. Before flying in space, he served in multiple technical roles including work as a space shuttle capsule communicator. Ham’s most recent NASA assignment included duties as an instructor pilot in the T-38N and WB-57F research pilot.

Ham is a pilot with more than 6,000 flight hours and experience in more than 40 different aircraft. A 1987 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Ham will return to the institution as an instructor.

Patrick is a veteran of three spacewalks. He played a vital role in installation of the Tranquility module and Cupola of the International Space Station. He ends his NASA career with more than 26 days of spaceflight experience.

“Nick is an extremely talented individual,” said Whitson, “his engineering skills and expertise were a valuable contribution to our team, not only during his flights but in his work with future exploration programs as well. I am sure that his future contributions will be just as valuable.”

Patrick holds a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees in Engineering from Cambridge University. Prior to his spaceflights, he led the team that designed the Orion spacecraft cockpit.




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