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William McMichael Shepherd
William Shepherd.jpg
Born July 26, 1949(1949-07-26) (age 71)
Place of birth Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Rank Captain, USN

William McMichael Shepherd (born July 26, 1949) is a former American astronaut who served as commander of Expedition 1,[1] the first crew on the International Space Station. Shepherd is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.


Shepherd was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on July 26, 1949, but considers Babylon, New York, his hometown. He is married to Beth Stringham of Houston, Texas. His mother, Barbara Shepherd, resides in Bethesda, Maryland. His father, George R. Shepherd, is deceased.

Shepherd graduated from Arcadia High School, in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1967, and received a degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1971. After successful completion of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S), he joined the elite community of Naval Special Warfare and qualified as a Navy SEAL. Then, in 1978, he obtained both an Master of Science in mechanical engineering and the degree of Ocean Engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Shepherd at NASAEdit

William Shepherd sts098-320-0017

William Shepherd on the ISS as commander of Expedition 1

Shepherd was selected for the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1984. In 1986, his Navy SEAL training proved unexpectedly useful to NASA as he participated in salvage operations of the Space Shuttle Challenger after its destruction. Shepherd then served as a mission specialist on three Space Shuttle flights: mission STS-27 in 1988, mission STS-41 in 1990, which deployed the Ulysses probe, and mission STS-52 in 1992.

In 1993, Shepherd was assigned to program management for the International Space Station (ISS). From October 31, 2000 to March 21, 2001, he and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergey Krikalev served as Expedition 1, the first crew stationed at the ISS.

Shepherd has logged over 159 days in space.

Awards receivedEdit

  • He is a recipient of NASA's "Steve Thorne" Aviation Award.
  • 2009 inductee into the .[2]


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

External linksEdit

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