South Windsor

NASA Astronaut Candidates Include South Windsor Native, Coast Guard Academy Grad


NASA announced its 2021 astronaut candidates on Monday afternoon and U.S. Navy pilot and Connecticut native Jack Hathaway and Andre Douglas, a 2008 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, are among the new class.

NASA said it has chosen 10 new astronaut candidates from a field of more than 12,000 applicants.

Hathaway, 39, grew up in South Windsor.

NASA said he is a distinguished naval aviator who flew and deployed with Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 14 aboard the USS Nimitz and Strike Fighter Squadron 136 aboard the USS Truman.

They said he graduated from Empire Test Pilots’ School, supported the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, and was most recently assigned as the prospective executive officer for Strike Fighter Squadron 81.

He graduated South Windsor High School in 2000, earned bachelors’ degrees in physics and history from the U.S. Naval Academy and completed graduate studies at Cranfield University in England and the U.S. Naval War College.

Hathaway is married to Amy Hathaway. They have two children.

Read his biography here.

Douglas, 35, a space systems engineer from Chesapeake, Virginia is a 2008 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

The Coast Guard Academy said that after graduating from the academy with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Douglas was selected for the Marine Engineering Post Graduate Degree Program and he attended the University of Michigan, graduating with dual Master of Science degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

In 2015, he received the Black Engineer of the Year award in the Most Promising Engineer category for distinguished service as a naval architect and marine engineer, electrical staff engineer, and Salvage Engineering Response Team duty officer in the U. S. Coast Guard, according to the Coast Guard Academy.

Douglas also earned a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in systems engineering from the George Washington University.

He currently serves as a Space Systems Engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he worked on maritime robotics, planetary defense, and space exploration missions for NASA.

Read more about Douglas here.

The candidates will begin training in Houston in January and train and practice across multiple disciplines including robotics and spacewalking over the next two years

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