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Astronauts from the Navy
William M. Shepherd
(Captain, USN)
NASA Astronaut
Credit: NASA
Astronaut William M. Shepherd (Captain, USN)
William Shepherd

William McMichael Shepherd (born July 26, 1949) is a former American astronaut who served as commander of Expedition 1, the first crew on the International Space Station. Shepherd is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.


Shepherd was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on July 26, 1949, but considers Babylon, New York, his hometown. He is married to Beth Stringham of Houston, Texas. His mother, Barbara Shepherd, resides in Bethesda, Maryland. His father, George R. Shepherd, is deceased.

Shepherd graduated from Arcadia High School, in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1967, and received a degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971. After successful completion of BUD/S, he joined the elite community of Naval Special Warfare and qualified as a Navy SEAL. Then, in 1978, he obtained both an MS in mechanical engineering and the degree of Ocean Engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Shepherd at NASA

Shepherd was selected for the NASA astronaut corps in 1984. In 1986, his Navy SEAL training proved unexpectedly useful to NASA as he participated in salvage operations of the space shuttle Challenger after its destruction. Shepherd then served as a mission specialist on three space shuttle flights: mission STS-27 in 1988, mission STS-41 which deployed the Ulysses probe in 1990, and mission STS-52 in 1992.

In 1993, Shepherd was assigned to program management for the International Space Station (ISS). From October 31, 2000, to March 21, 2001, he and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergey Krikalev served as Expedition 1, the first crew stationed at the ISS.

Shepherd has logged over 159 days in space.

Awards Received

  • Shepherd was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2003
  • He is a recipient of NASA's "Steve Thorne" Aviation Award.
  • 2009 inductee into the the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame
SOURCE: Wikipedia_William_Shepherd

Related Links:

  • William Shepherd, First Navy SEAL in Space - Navy SEALs Blog - Posted June 10th, 2009 by USNavySeals
  • William Shepherd - - Experience the SEAL Edge
  • Navy SEAL's Mentor Helped him Prep for Space Mission -
  • U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at KSC Visitor Complex - Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, United States Astronaut Hall of Fame, retrieved 2009-05-04
  • William M. Shepherd at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) website. - NASA Biography - [Archived]
    • EXPERIENCE:  Shepherd was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971, and has served with the Navy's Underwater Demolition Team ELEVEN, SEAL Teams ONE and TWO, and Special Boat Unit TWENTY.
    • NASA EXPERIENCE:  Selected by NASA in May 1984. A veteran of four space flights, Shepherd has logged over 159 days in space. Most recently, he was the Commander of the Expedition-1 crew on the International Space Station (October 31, 2000 to March 21, 2001). Earlier he made three flights as a mission specialist on STS-27 (December 2-6, 1988), STS-41 (October 6-10, 1990) and STS-52 (October 22 to November 1, 1992). From March 1993 to January 1996, Shepherd was assigned to the Space Station Program and served in various management positions. 
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