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NASA Astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Christopher Cassidy to Speak at SCC on March 19

CassidyChristopher J. Cassidy, an astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be a guest speaker on the campus of Somerset Community College (SCC) on Thursday, March 19, 2015. The event, which is part of the colleges 50th Anniversary Speakers Series, is free and open to the public. Cassidy will be speaking at 7 p.m. in the Meece Hall auditorium and a free, public reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Meece Hall lobby. The title of Cassidys presentation is International Space Station Expedition 36.

Meece Hall is located on the SCC Somerset North campus, at 808 Monticello Street in Somerset.

About Christopher Cassidy

Cassidy was born on January 4, 1970 in Salem, Massachusetts, although he considers York, Maine his hometown. He and his wife Julie, are the proud parents of three children.

Cassidy graduated from York High School, York, Maine and completed Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Prior to his career with NASA, Cassidy served for ten years as a member of the U.S. Navy SEALs Team, achieving the rank of Captain in the U.S. Navy. He made four six-month deployments: two to Afghanistan, and two to the Mediterranean. 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, served as ground assault force commander for international and U.S. only combat missions in Afghanistan, and led two months of noncompliant ship-boardings in the Northern Arabian Gulf. He was SEALs delivery vehicle platoon commander at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO in Norfolk, VA. He accumulated more than 200 hours underwater as pilot/navigator/mission commander of a two-man flooded submersible SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV), which is launched and recovered from a host-ship submarine. He also served as dry deck shelter platoon commander at SEAL Delivery Team TWO in Norfolk, VA.

In 2004, Cassidy was selected as an astronaut by NASA. In February 2006, he completed Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in 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. From 2006 through 2008, he served as Capsule Commander (CAPCOM) in the Mission Control Center. During his NASA career, Cassidy completed six spacewalks, totaling 31 hours, 14 minutes and accumulated 182 days in space. He is currently in charge of the EVA branch within the Astronaut Office.

Space Flight Experience

Cassidy was part of the STS-127, International Space Station Assembly Mission 2J/A, aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour which took place July 15, 2009 through July 31, 2009. The mission delivered the Japanese-built Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) and the Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section (ELM-ES) to the station. The crew completed the construction of the KIBO Japanese Experiment Module, installed scientific experiments on its exposed facility and delivered critical spare parts and replacement batteries to the orbital complex, in addition to transferring 24,638 pounds of hardware and 1,225 pounds of water to the station.

While the shuttle was docked to the station, the mission featured a record 13 astronauts working aboard the station representing all five space station partners: NASA, the Russian Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency. Cassidy performed three spacewalks totaling 18 hours and 5 minutes. The mission was accomplished in 248 Earth orbits, traveling 6,547,853 million miles in 15 days, 16 hours, 44 minutes and 58 seconds

In his second mission, Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station for Expedition 35/36, lasting from March 28, 2013 to September 11, 2013. The three crew members were the first to complete an expedited trip to the station - instead of taking the standard two days to rendezvous and dock, they arrived at the orbiting complex in less than six hours. Cassidy, Vinogradov and Misurkin were welcomed to the space station by Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, Tom Marshburn of NASA and Roman Romanenko of Roscosmos. The crew members saw the arrival of the European ATV-4cargo spacecraft, the Japanese HTV-4 cargo spacecraft and two Russian Progress resupply spacecraft. The trio also worked on hundreds of research experiments and science investigations that will have benefits for future human spaceflight and life on Earth. Cassidy conducted three spacewalks during his 166 days aboard the station. During the expedition, the crew completed 2,656 Earth orbits and traveled more than 70 million miles.

Honors and Awards

Cassidy is a member of several professional and honor organizations, including the following: U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alumni Association; Fraternal Order of Underwater Demolition Team (UDT)/Sea, Air, Land Team (SEAL) Association.

As a volunteers, Cassidy 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.

His special honors include: Honor graduate of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Class 192; awarded the Bronze Star with combat V and Presidential Unit Citation for leading a nine-day operation at the Zharwar Kili cave complex a national priority objective directly on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border; Quest speaker at the U.S. Naval Academy Combat Leadership Seminar, 2003, 2004; awarded a second Bronze Star for combat leadership service in Afghanistan, 2004; and NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.

Cassidy will be speaking on the campus of Somerset Community College on Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in Meece Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. A special student-focused event will be held at 2 p.m. the same day. To learn more about other events in the SCC 50th Anniversary Speakers Series, visit scc50.org.