2009 Engineering Leader of the Year
Christopher J. Ferguson, Commander of STS-126 and Pilot of STS-115
Chris Ferguson remembers the day he was accepted into the astronaut corps in 1988. “I realized I had achieved a lifelong dream…and I was looking forward to sharing it with my wife and family.” After completing NASA’s training and evaluation regimen, Chris logged his first 12 days in space as Pilot on STS-115.
The mission delivered and installed the ISS’ massive P3/P4 truss segment including solar arrays providing 25 percent of the station’s power. Ferguson’s crew worked for over 30 hours using the Shuttle’s robotic arm and three spacewalks to complete the truss installation.
Chris commanded STS-126 in November 2008, which positioned a reusable logistics module holding supplies and equipment to sustain a crew of six on the Station.
Chris received his Navy Wings in 1996, attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School and was selected for the Naval Postgraduate/Test Pilot School program in 1989. He served for one year as an instructor at the Naval Test Pilot School and with the VF-11 Red Rippers, a legendary fighter squadron that pioneered carrier operations from the decks of USS Langley, the Navy’s first flattop.
Chris holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University (’84) and an MS in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School (’91). A Philadelphia native, he enjoys playing golf, woodworking and drumming for Max Q, his all astronaut rock and roll band. He and his wife Sandra live in Texas with their three children.