Four ERAU Astronauts Visit The Station In 2011
Following the recent return of Embry-Riddle alumni astronauts
Alvin Drew and Nicole Stott from their STS-133 space shuttle
mission to the International Space Station (ISS), another ERAU
alumnus prepares for his own journey to the station, where he'll
spend six months as a flight engineer.
Ron Garan NASA Image
Astronaut Ronald J. Garan Jr. and two Russian cosmonauts
are scheduled for a March 29, 2011, launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome
in Kazakhstan onboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Upon arrival at
the space station, Garan will serve as a member of Expeditions 27
and 28. He previously visited the ISS in 2008 as a mission
specialist with the STS-124 space shuttle mission, during which he
performed three spacewalks.
"I'm obviously looking forward to getting back in space. The
first time I flew in space that was the end of a really, really
long journey and I had a sense of accomplishment," said Garan,
whose life-long aspiration was to become an astronaut. "With my new
mission on the space station I'll be able to more fully realize
When Garan's six-month ISS mission winds down in September 2011,
another Embry-Riddle alumnus, astronaut Dan Burbank, will begin a
six-month tour of duty on the station as a member of Expeditions 29
and 30. "This is a banner year for Embry-Riddle, with four of our
alumni astronauts serving on missions to the space station," said
university President John P. Johnson. "In particular, the upcoming
long-duration missions will be the experience of a lifetime for Ron
and Dan and truly inspiring proof that Embry-Riddle is the best
choice for students who seek fulfilling and distinguished careers
in aviation, aerospace, and engineering."
Current astronaut Terry Virts Jr. and former astronaut Susan
Kilrain are also Embry-Riddle alumni.
Ron Garan graduated from Embry-Riddle in 1994 with a master's
degree in aeronautical science from the Las Vegas, NV, campus of
the university's Worldwide Campus. He also earned degrees from SUNY
College at Oneonta and the University of Florida.
During his 25-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Garan attended
the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School and the U.S. Naval Test
Pilot School. He served as a weapons officer, an F-16 aircraft
instructor, and an F-16 pilot flying combat missions in Operations
Desert Shield/Desert Storm before retiring from the Air Force in
2009 with the rank of colonel. Garan's numerous military
decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross for Combat
Valor. Over the course of his lifetime he has logged over 5,000
hours in more than 30 different aircraft.