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William McMichael Shepherd
William Shepherd.jpg
Born July 26, 1949 (1949-07-26) (age 60)
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Other occupation Engineer
Rank Captain, USN
Time in space 159d 07h 49m
Selection 1984 NASA Group
Missions STS-27, STS-41, STS-52, Soyuz TM-31, Expedition 1, STS-102
Mission insignia Sts-27-patch.svgSts-41-patch.pngSts-52-patch.png Expedition 1 insignia (ISS patch).png Sts-102-patch.png

William McMichael Shepherd (born July 26, 1949) is a former American astronaut who served as commander of Expedition 1, the first crew on the International Space Station. Shepherd is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.



Shepherd was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on July 26, 1949, but considers Babylon, New York, his hometown. He is married to Beth Stringham of Houston, Texas. His mother, Barbara Shepherd, resides in Bethesda, Maryland. His father, George R. Shepherd, is deceased.

Shepherd graduated from Arcadia High School, in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1967, and received a degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971. After successful completion of BUD/S, he joined the elite community of Naval Special Warfare and qualified as a Navy SEAL. Then, in 1978, he obtained both an MS in mechanical engineering and the degree of Ocean Engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Shepherd at NASA

Shepherd was selected for the NASA astronaut corps in 1984. In 1986, his Navy SEAL training proved unexpectedly useful to NASA as he participated in salvage operations of the space shuttle Challenger after its destruction. Shepherd then served as a mission specialist on three space shuttle flights: mission STS-27 in 1988, mission STS-41 which deployed the Ulysses probe in 1990, and mission STS-52 in 1992.

In 1993, Shepherd was assigned to program management for the International Space Station (ISS). From October 31, 2000, to March 21, 2001, he and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergey Krikalev served as Expedition 1, the first crew stationed at the ISS.

Shepherd has logged over 159 days in space.

Awards received

  • He is a recipient of NASA's "Steve Thorne" Aviation Award.


  1. ^ U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at KSC Visitor Complex - Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, United States Astronaut Hall of Fame, retrieved 2009-05-04

External links

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