News

Aerospace Engineering alum heading to International Space Station

7/17/2013 5:25:00 PM

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.

Mike Hopkins is the first in the astronaut class of 2009 to be chosen for a space mission.
Mike Hopkins is the first in the astronaut class of 2009 to be chosen for a space mission.

Hopkins (BS 1992), will join the ranks of other University of Illinois astronauts, Col. Lee Archambault (BS 1982, MS 1984), Capt. Scott D. Altman (BS 1981) Col. Steven R. Nagel (BS 1969) Joseph R. Tanner, (BS 1973 Mechanical Science & Engineering), and Dale A. Gardner (BS 1970, 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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If you have any questions about the College of Engineering, or other story ideas, contact Mike Koon, /editor, Engineering Communications Office, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 217/244-1256.