Shannon Walker becomes first native Houstonian to command ISS

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Astronaut Shannon Walker will become the first native Houstonian to command the International Space Station.

Walker was born and raised in Houston. She attended Houston ISD schools growing up and graduated from Rice University before joining NASA in 1987 as a robotics flight controller for the Space Shuttle program.

"Having the Johnson Space Center here in my backyard growing up, I was always aware of what NASA was doing in the space program," Walker said. "I'm so proud to represent my hometown on the International Space Station where we conduct scientific research that can benefit all of humankind."

Walker has been in space since November.

She is a member of NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission that flew to the space station on the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft, the first commercial human spacecraft system.

Walker and her fellow Crew-1 astronauts joined Expedition 64 upon their arrival and are nearing completion of a six-month science mission that included science and research investigations.

She takes command of the ISS at 2:45 p.m. Thursday when the outgoing commander, Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, departs the station.

Walker returns to earth on April 28.

"We like to call Johnson Space Center the home of the astronauts, and all of them live here while they're training and supporting human spaceflight," said JSC Director Mark Geyer. "But in Shannon's case, she's a homegrown Houstonian, and we couldn't be prouder for our community to have her representing Space City as commander of the space station."

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