Santa Monica temporarily has some representation on the International Space Station.
A 1985 Santa Monica High School graduate, astronaut Randy Bresnik, is part of the six-person crew that took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida Monday, November 16th on a NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis flight for an 11-day mission to deliver and secure supplies to the International Space Station.
Atlantis flight STS-129 is scheduled to return on Friday, November 27th, weather permitting.
While in space, the six-person crew will be docking at the International Space Station. The mission for the crew is to deliver parts to the space station, including two spare gyroscopes, according to NASA.
The shuttle program is scheduled to end next year, and only five final flights remain. The vehicle that will be used to travel to the space station following the final shuttle flight will not be able to carry the same type of large payloads that flight STS-129 will be transporting, NASA officials note.
Bresnik will be involved in two of the three EVAs, or space walks outside the space station, helping to attach the extra parts to the outside of the station for storage and future use, according to NASA. Returning with Bresnik and the crew of flight STS-129 will be fellow astronaut Nicole Stott, who traveled to the space station on a previous flight.
Bresnik was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky but grew up in Santa Monica, where he attended Grant Elementary, John Adams Junior High School (now Middle School), and Santa Monica High School. He played percussion in the Samohi marching band.
After graduating from high school, Bresnik attended the Citadel in South Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and graduated in the top 30 in a class of 800, according to a John Adams school yearbook. He earned his master’s degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee.
Bresnik later became a U.S. Marine Corps pilot before becoming an astronaut with the U.S. Space Program, according to the yearbook.
Bresnik is expected to become the father of a new daughter while he is in space, as his wife Rebecca, is scheduled to give birth Friday, November 20th.