Ex-astronaut joins state's Rocketplane

Friday, September 9th 2005, 10:34 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A former astronaut on Space Shuttle Endeavour is joining the crew of an Oklahoma company in pursuit of commercial space travel.

John Herrington joined Rocketplane Limited this week after retiring from the US Navy and giving up an assignment at NASA. He had worked at NASA since 1996.

Herrington is a member of the Chickashaw Nation who was born in Wetumka. He was the first American Indian to fly in space when he was a mission specialist on Endeavour in 2002.

The 46-year-old has been named vice president and director of flight systems for Rocketplane, which has its first test flight scheduled for October 2006. Herrington will be the pilot of that flight and will fly the commercial spaceflights when they begin in 2007.