|President Obama meets with 1988 graduate, space pioneer|
|Thursday, October 22, 2015|
Col. Robert Behnken, Class of 1988 - Behnken was one of four space pioneers who met with President Barack Obama on Oct. 21, 2015 as part of the White House Astronomy Night.
Behnken and his fellow NASA astronauts met privately with the President before the event on the South Lawn of the White House began. They are making history by being the first astronauts training to fly to space on commercial crew carriers. They are working closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station.
Behnken is a U.S. Air Force colonel from St. Ann, Missouri, who accumulated more than 1,300 flight hours in more than 25 different aircraft types. NASA selected Behnken as an astronaut in July 2000, and he reported for training in August 2000.
Behnken flew on space shuttle missions STS-123 in March 2008 and STS-130 in February 2010, logging more than 29 days in space, including more than 37 hours during six spacewalks. He earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from Washington University in 1992, and a master’s and doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1993 and 1997, respectively. Behnken served as chief of the Astronaut Office for NASA from 2012 to 2015.
Find out more
Col. Robert Behnken, second from left, is shown with President Barack Obama. Official White House photo by Pete Souza.