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Hometown Hero Returns, Phillies Honor Commander Chris Ferguson
10.05.11
 
Astronaut Chris Ferguson throws out first pitch

Commander Chris Ferguson throws out the first pitch to the Philly Phanatic Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Miles Kennedy, Philadelphia Phillies 2011

STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson and Philly Phanatic

Commander Chris Ferguson poses with the Philly Phanatic after throwing out the first pitch. Credit: Miles Kennedy, Philadelphia Phillies 2011

STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson threw out the first pitch Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, for the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Ferguson’s pitch cruised in for a strike to start the second playoff game of the National League Division Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ferguson was born and raised in Philadelphia where he received his bachelor‘s degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a master of science in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He reported to the Johnson Space Center in 1998 and served as the spacecraft communicator in Mission Control during four shuttle missions. Ferguson was the pilot of STS-115 before assuming the role of commander for STS-126. He then went on to command the last shuttle flight, STS-135, in July 2011. The journey marked the end of the space shuttle program, writing the final chapter in the vehicle’s historic 30-year career.
 
 
John Colunga
Johnson Space Center, Houston