UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Three Academy graduates to fly STS-133 shuttle mission

by John Van Winkle
U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

2/23/2011 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Three Air Force Academy graduates are leading Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission, which is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Feb. 24.

Retired Col. Steven Lindsey, Class of 1982, is mission commander, while 1987 graduate Col. Eric Boe is the pilot and retired Col. Alvin Drew from the Class of '84 is one of four mission specialists.

Navy Capt. Stephen Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott round out the STS-133 crew.

Colonel Lindsey majored in engineering sciences at the Academy. He has 6,500 flying hours in more than 50 aircraft. A veteran of four spaceflights, he has logged more than 1,203 hours in space.

Colonel Boe majored in astronautical engineering at the Academy. Colonel Boe has more than 4,000 flying hours in more than 45 different aircraft, and was last in space as pilot for the STS-126 mission in November of 2008.

Colonel Drew majored in astronautical engineering and physics at the Academy. He is one of two mission specialists who will participate in extravehicular activity for this mission. He has more than 3,500 flying hours in more than 30 different types of aircraft and logged 305 hours in space as a crewmember of the STS-118 mission. For the STS-133 mission, he will spend 13 hours performing spacewalks outside the station on Flight Days 5 and 7.

STS-133 is slated to be the final mission for the Space Shuttle Discovery. The objectives of the 11-day mission are to deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the Express Logistics Carrier 4 and to provide critical spare components to the International Space Station.

The Air Force Academy will also have a role in the next space shuttle mission, STS-134. The Space Shuttle Endeavour is slated for an April launch, piloted by retired Col. Gregory Johnson, a 1984 graduate.

Among the payloads on Endeavour will be a scientific experiment developed by the Air Force Academy's Space Physics and Atmospheric Research Program in cooperation with the Air Force's Space Test Program. The experiment, called Canary, will investigate the interaction of approaching spacecraft with the background plasma environment around the ISS and disturbances in the ionosphere caused by space vehicles.

The latest information on the progress of the Discovery mission is available online at:

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list