Event Details
Payload Blog

Meet Astronaut John Herrington

Sep 23, 2020 - Sep 27, 2020 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds from scientists to pilots. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen to be a member of the elite NASA Astronaut Corps. Each day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visitors get the rare opportunity to meet veteran NASA astronauts.


You may meet the Astronaut of the Day at any of the following opportunities.  See the Daily Schedule for times when you arrive.

  • The daily Astronaut Encounter briefings allow time for a presentation from the astronaut and a discussion, so bring your questions and your camera.
  • Visitors can also get an astronaut’s autograph at The Space Shop at various times during the day.
  • With an additional purchase, visitors can enjoy an exclusive buffet lunch and group presentation during Dine With An Astronaut. Offered at noon daily, lunch includes a question and answer session and photo opportunities!

Astronaut Bio:

Though he grew up in Colorado, Wyoming and Texas, astronaut John Herrington graduated from Plano Senior High School in 1976. He then received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, in 1983. Herrington received his commission from Aviation Officer Candidate School in March 1984 and was designated a Naval Aviator in March 1985. Following his selection as an Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officer, Herrington reported to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School where he completed a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in June 1995. He received a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Idaho in 2014.

Selected by NASA in April 1996, he completed two years of training and evaluation and then was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Initially, Herrington was assigned to both the Shuttle and International Space Station Branches in support of Guidance Navigation and Control systems. Herrington was also assigned to the Flight Support Branch of the Astronaut Office where he served as a member of the Astronaut Support Personnel team responsible for Shuttle launch preparations and post-landing operations. In November 2002, he flew on STS-113 logging over 330 hours in space, including 3 EVAs totaling 19 hours and 55 minutes. Post-flight, Herrington was assigned as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) supporting Shuttle and Space Station training and operations. In the summer of 2003, Herrington was detailed to support International Space Station training efforts in both the United States and Russia. Following this assignment, he became a member of the Extravehicular Activities (EVA) Branch supporting Russian/US EVA hardware and operations. For his last assignment, he was chosen to become the Chief Engineer for Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) at Johnson Space Center.

On October 1, 2005, he retired from the U.S. Navy and left NASA to pursue a career in the commercial space industry. Currently, Herrington serves as an ambassador for the Chickasaw Nation. For the past 8 years, he has served as a judge and judge advisor for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Oklahoma Regional. Herrington currently resides in Idaho with his family. He enjoys flying, rock climbing, snow skiing, running, and cycling.

John Herrington

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