This is an excerpt from The Aerospace Professional: April 2010 British-born astronaut Dr Piers Sellers has arranged for the President’s travelling medal of office to accompany him into space during STS-132 currently scheduled to launch on 14 May for a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. This will be Space Shuttle Atlantis’s final flight.
The medal of office (a lighter-weight version of the large, official medal of office) will remain safely packed in an under-floor storage area onboard the shuttle while Mission Specialist Dr Sellers completes his third Shuttle flight delivering an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian Mini Research Module to the station. Piers went to Cranbrook School, Cranbrook, Kent, then received a bachelor of science degree in ecological science from the University of Edinburgh in 1976, followed by a doctorate in biometeorology from Leeds University in 1981. He was selected as an astronaut candidate in April 1996 and after two years training and evaluation was assigned to the Astronaut Office. In October 2002 Piers flew on the STS-112 Atlantis mission delivering the S-One Truss to the International Space Station and during which he performed three spacewalks totalling 19 hours and 42 minutes. This was followed in July 2006 by the STS-121 return-to-flight test mission aboard Discovery with Piers performing a further three spacewalks. On 9 December Piers will visit No.4 Hamilton Place to deliver this year’s Wilbur and Orville Wright lecture.