NASA Johnson Space Center
Don Pettit is a NASA Astronaut at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas. He is interested in contrasting long duration space exploration with Earth exploration, possibly using Antarctica as a space mission analog for future Lunar and Mars mission preparations. Don was a member of the December 2006 ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) team.
On his first space flight as NASA ISS Science Officer aboard the International Space Station, Don logged over 161 days in space, including over 13 EVA hours. During 5-1/2 months aboard the International Space Station, the crew worked with numerous U.S. and Russian science experiments. Dr. Pettit and the mission commander Ken Bowersox performed 2 EVAs (spacewalks) to continue the external outfitting of the orbital outpost.
Prior to joining NASA, Don was a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His projects included reduced gravity fluid flow and materials processing experiments on board the NASA KC-135 airplane, atmospheric spectroscopy on noctilucent clouds seeded from sounding rockets, fumarole gas sampling from volcanoes, and problems in detonation physics. He was a member of the Synthesis Group, slated with assembling the technology to return to the moon and explore Mars, and the Space Station Freedom Redesign Team.
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