These 6 astronauts are from Connecticut

 12 days ago

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Nugmeggers like to reach for the stars — and some have gotten pretty close.

At least six NASA astronauts have been born in Connecticut, according to the space agency , which also notes that researchers and students in the state have helped with discoveries. Yale University, for example, helped discover Kepler-150 f, an exoplanet the size of Neptune.

NASA also notes the accomplishments of two other Constitution State natives — Joan Stupik, a guidance and control engineer, and Lynn Rothschild, an astrobiologist.

Several hundred people have gone to space, with the number expected to grow with space tourism. However, this list only looks at scientific missions.

The following Connecticut natives have been to space, according to NASA:

Daniel T. Barry

From: Norwalk

Although Barry was born in Norwalk, he considers South Hadley, Massachusetts, as his hometown, according to NASA.

He was a nine-day flight on the Endeavor from Jan. 11-20, 1996 and did a six-hour spacewalk to show off the techniques that would be used to assemble the International Space Station. He was also on the Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999, and from Aug. 10-22 in 2001. During the 1999 mission, Barry performed an eight-minute spacewalk, and spent almost 12 hours performing spacewalks in 2001.

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Daniel C. Burbank

From: Manchester

Like Barry, Burbank was born in Connecticut, but considers Massachusetts home. He graduated from Tolland High School in 1979.

NASA chose him to be an astronaut in 1996. Since then, he has been the mission specialist on missions STS-106 and STS-115, a flight engineer on Expedition 29 and the commander of Expedition 30. He flew on the Atlantis in 2000 and 2006, and on a Russian spacecraft in 2011 and 2012.

His work has included preparing the International Space Station for its first permanent crew, delivering the equipment to power the station and completing experiments. By the time he retired in June 2018, he had spent 188 days in space and had completed seven hours and 11 minutes of spacewalks.

Richard Mastracchio

From: Waterbury

Like Burbank, Mastracchio was also selected by NASA in 1996. After high school, he went on to get a degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Connecticut, and then pursued further degrees from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Houston-Clear Lake. The Crosby High School graduate worked at Hamilton Standard as an engineer from 1982 to 1987.

He flew on STS-106, STS-118, STS-131 and on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for Expedition 38/39. He has spent 228 days in space and 53 hours completing spacewalks — including three that were unplanned in order to replace failing equipment. He has flown on Atlantis, Endeavor and Discovery.

He and Barry were both on STS-106 to prepare the International Space Station for its first permanent crew.

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Kathleen Rubins

From: Farmington

Born in Farmington and raised in Napa, California, Rubins was chosen to become an astronaut in 2009.

She became the first person to sequence DNA in space while on Expedition 48/49, and was a flight engineer on Expedition 63/64. She was most recently in space in April 2021. Her work has included more than 275 scientific experiments on biology, human physiology, fluid and combustion physics, Earth and space science and technology development.

She has spent 300 days in space and spent 12 hours and 46 minutes performing spacewalks.

Sherwood C. “Woody” Spring

From: Hartford

Spring was chosen to be an astronaut in May 1980 and went on to be a mission specialist on STS-61B. He launched into space in November 1985, where he spent 12 hours doing spacewalks.

While on his mission, he launched three communications satellites and studied how to build space stations. His work with the Defense Systems Acquisition Management Program is classified.

His son is Olympic gymnast Justin Spring.

Pierre Thuot

From: Groton

Although he was born in Groton in 1955, Thuot considers Virginia and Massachusetts home.

After being chosen to be an astronaut in 1985, Thuot has worked robotic arms, crew equipment, and has worked on designing space shuttle payloads, equipment and procedures.

He flew on STS-36 in 1990, STS-49 in 1992 and STS-62 in 1994. He launched on the Atlantis, Endeavour and Columbia.

He has spent more than 654 hours in space and 17.7 hours on spacewalks.

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