Tech Alum Selected for NASA Shuttle Mission

NASA has assigned crew members, including Georgia Tech alum Douglas Wheelock, to the space shuttle flight that will launch an Italian-built U.S. module for the International Space Station.

Air Force Col. Pamela A. Melroy will command the STS-120 mission to take the Node 2 connecting module to the station. Melroy, a veteran shuttle pilot, is the second woman to command a shuttle. Marine Corps Col. George D. Zamka will serve as pilot. The flight's mission specialists will be Scott E. Parazynski, Army Col. Douglas H. Wheelock, Navy Capt. Michael J. Foreman and Paolo A. Nespoli, a European Space Agency astronaut from Italy. Zamka, Wheelock, Foreman and Nespoli will be making their first spaceflight.

Wheelock, a native of Windsor, N.Y., is a West Point graduate with a master's from the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, Atlanta.

STS-120 will be Melroy's third shuttle flight. The native of Palo Alto, Calif., served as pilot of missions STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002, both flights to the space station. Zamka, a native of Jersey City, N.J., has a bachelor's from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., and a master's from the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Fla.

Parazynski, who also considers Palo Alto, Calif., his hometown along with Evergreen, Colo., will be making his fifth shuttle flight and is a veteran spacewalker. Foreman is a Wadsworth, Ohio, native with a bachelor's and a master's from the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. Nespoli is a native of Milan, Italy. He has a bachelor's and a master's from the Polytechnic University of New York.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.