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Astronauts from the Navy
Christopher John "Chris" Cassidy
 (Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut
Credit: NASA
Astronaut Christopher J. Cassidy, mission specialist
Christopher Cassidy

Christopher John "Chris" Cassidy (born January 4, 1970, Salem, Massachusetts, United States) is a NASA astronaut and former Navy SEAL. Chris Cassidy achieved the rank of Commander in the U.S. Navy. Cassidy attended York High School, in York, Maine. He then graduated from the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1989. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993 and a Master's degree in Ocean engineering from MIT in 2000. He resides in York, Maine with his wife Julie Byrd and their three children.[1] His first Space Shuttle mission was STS-127. Cassidy has worked as a CAPCOM for both International Space Station and Space Shuttle missions in the past.

Military Experience

Cassidy graduated from BUD/S Class 192. He served for ten years as a member of the Navy SEALs. His specialization in military tactics include long range special reconnaissance (vehicular and foot patrols), direct action building assaults, non-compliant ship-boardings, desert reconnaissance patrols, combat diving, underwater explosives, and a variety of air operations, to include parachuting, fast roping, and rappelling. He made four six-month deployments: two to Afghanistan, and two to the Mediterranean Sea. Cassidy served as Executive Officer and Operations Officer of Special Boat Team Twenty in Norfolk, Virginia, and SEAL Platoon Commander at SEAL Team THREE in Coronado, California. He deployed to the Afghanistan region two weeks after September 11, 2001. He served as Ground Assault Force Commander for international and U.S. only combat missions in Afghanistan. Led two months of non-compliant ship-boardings in the Northern Persian Gulf. Cassidy was also a SEAL Delivery Vehicle Platoon Commander at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO in Norfolk, VA. He accumulated over 200 hours underwater as Pilot / Navigator / Mission Commander of a two-man flooded submersible (SDV), which is launched and recovered from a host-ship submarine. He also served as Dry Deck Shelter Platoon Commander at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO in Norfolk, VA. Cassidy volunteered for and completed a week-long, 180-mile charity kayak paddle from Norfolk, VA to Washington, D.C. to raise money and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Astronaut Experience

Cassidy was selected by NASA in May 2004. In February 2006 he completed the Astronaut Candidate Training, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Space Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. Completion of this initial training qualified him for various technical assignments within the Astronaut Office and future flight assignment as a mission specialist.

He was a Mission Specialist on STS-127, and performed a total of three spacewalks to help install and complete components of the Japanese Experiment Module.

Awards and Honors

Honor graduate of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Class 192. He was awarded the Bronze Star with V device and the Presidential Unit Citation for leading a 9-day operation at the Zhawar Kili cave complex a national priority objective directly on the Afghan/Pakistan border during Operation Enduring Freedom. Guest speaker at the USNA Combat Leadership Seminar (2003 & 2004). He was awarded a second Bronze Star for combat leadership service in 2004 during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Chris Cassidy is also the 500th person in space. He achieved this by being the designated crew member by the rest of his crew mates, during the STS-127 mission. He is also the second SEAL to fly in space following William Shepherd, a veteran of four prior missions.

SOURCE: Wikipedia_Christopher_Cassidy

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Christopher John "Chris" Cassidy
Credit: image for full size)

090325-N-2959L-844 HOUSTON (March 25, 2009) Lt. Cmdr. Chris Cassidy, center, practices docking the space shuttle with his shuttle commander and pilot in a virtual reality simulator at Johnson Space Center. Cassidy, a U.S. Navy SEAL, is a mission specialist in the upcoming mission STS-127 to the International Space Station scheduled for June. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique M. Lasco/Released) 

Navy SEAL's Mentor Helped him Prep for Space Mission
Story Number: NNS090615-25
Release Date: 6/15/2009 10:49:00 PM

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