Mt. Juliet native and NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore will join the next crew to launch to the International Space Station.
Wilmore, along with cosmonauts Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), will launch to the ISS Sept. 25 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft.
During the six-month mission, Wilmore, Serova and Samokutyaev will serve as flight engineers for the ISS Expedition 41 until November, at which time Wilmore will assume command of Expedition 42.
They are scheduled to return to Earth in March 2015.
Wilmore, a captain in the United States Navy, was raised in Mt. Juliet and is a graduate of Mt. Juliet High School in the Class of 1981. He is also a graduate of Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee.
During his time as a fleet naval officer and pilot, Wilmore completed four operational deployments, flying the A-7E and FA 18 aircraft. He has accumulated almost 7,000 flight hours and more than 600 carrier landings.
In 2000, Wilmore joined NASA and flew aboard the space shuttle Atlantis for STS-129 in November 2009 for his first flight. The mission delivered two Express Logistics Carriers and 30,000 pounds of replacement parts to the space station.
To date, Wilmore has logged more than 259 hours of spaceflight, but will soon log much more time beginning with his newest expedition in September.
Expedition 41 crew members will post flight experiences on Instagram and those interested can follow them @ISS.