Stennis chief to be in hall

Published 11:22 pm Saturday, January 12, 2008

Robert Cabana, director of Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, has been chosen for induction into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Ceremonies are May 3 at Kennedy Space Center.

Cabana and the other 2008 inductees — John Blaha, Bryan O’Connor and Loren Shriver — are the seventh group of space shuttle astronauts named to the Hall of Fame, which has honored 66 others, including Neil Armstrong, John Glenn and Sally Ride.

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Cabana flew four shuttle missions.

He was commander of the first mission to dock with the International Space Station and piloted Discovery on his first flight five years after his selection as an astronaut. Discovery’s crew deployed the Ulysses spacecraft, which is still in operation around the sun.

His second flight as a pilot was a Defense Department mission. Cabana commanded STS-65, during which he and his crew set a record for the longest shuttle mission. His final flight was as commander of the first International Space Station assembly mission.

Cabana was deputy chief of NASA’s Aircraft Operations Division and chief of the Astronaut Office. He was Johnson Space Center’s Deputy Director for 3-1/2 years until October 2007.

Blaha was the third American to live aboard the Russian Mir space station. O’Connor was commander of the first shuttle mission dedicated to life sciences. Shriver was commander of the mission to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope.