Andrew Feustel is a NASA astronaut and an American Geophysicist. He was born Andrew J. (Drew) Feustel on August 25, 1965 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Lake Orion, Michigan. He graduated from Lake Orion High School and subsequently received an Associate’s degree from Oakland Community College. During this time, he worked at International Autoworks as an auto mechanic. He then transferred to Purdue University, where joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and served as a Residence Hall Counselor for the Student Housing organization. He went home to Michigan for the summers to work as a commercial and industrial glazier. He received a Bachelor of Science in Solid Earth Sciences in 1989 and then immediately began graduate school and simultaneously worked as a Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department at the college. In 1991, Feustel finished his education at Purdue after earning a Master of Science in Geophysics. Feustel then moved to Ontario, Canada to study at Queen’s University, where he received his PhD in Geological Sciences in 1995. His thesis explored seismic waves in underground mines, and his next three years were spent working as a Geophysicist for the Engineering Seismology Group, where he installed and operated microseismic equipment in underground mines in Canada and the United States. In 1997, Feustel moved to Houston, Texas and began working as an Exploration Geophysicist for the Exxon Exploration Company.
In July 2000, Feustel was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate. In August 2002, he began training as a mission specialist and in July 2006, Feustel worked his first major assignment, as an aquanaut during the NEEMO 10 mission aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory, where he lived and worked underwater for seven days. Feustel’s first flight to space was aboard space shuttle Atlantis for the STS-125 mission. It launched on May 11, 2009 and successfully repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. During the mission, Feustel served as the Mission Specialist and performed three spacewalks before the mission safely returned to Earth. Feustel’s second flight to space was as a mission specialist on STS-134, which was the second to last flight of NASA’s space shuttle program as well as the final flight for the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The almost month long mission launched on May 16, 2011 to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an Express Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station. Feustel performed three more spacewalks before the mission landed on June 1, 2011. Currently, he works on technical support assignments at the Astronaut Office Space Shuttle and Space Stations branches. He is married to Indira Devi Bhatnagar and together they have two children. He also plays guitar and is a member of the astronaut band Max Q.
Image Caption: Official portrait image of NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia