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Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston
RELEASE : J05-017
Veteran NASA Space Shuttle Commander Retires
After a career featuring six space missions, five as commander, and multiple senior agency management positions, astronaut James D. Wetherbee (Capt., USN, Ret.) retired from NASA to pursue other interests.

Wetherbee flew six times aboard the Space Shuttle. He is the only U.S. astronaut to command five space flights. Most recently, Wetherbee served as the Space Shuttle Lead in the Independent Technical Authority at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). Earlier positions included service as Technical Assistant to the Director of JSC's Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate, two years as Director of Flight Crew Operations at JSC and five years as the Deputy Director of JSC.

"Jim is a true expert in space operations, who has dedicated his life to space exploration," said Director of Flight Crew Operations Ken Bowersox. "His engineering sense and relentless attention to detail were critical to the success of all of his space missions. Those same skills will serve our country well, as Jim moves on to new challenges," he added.

Wetherbee was selected as an astronaut in 1984 and served as pilot aboard STS-32 in 1990. He commanded STS-52 in 1992, STS-63 in 1995, STS-86 in 1997, STS-102 in 2001 and STS-113 in 2002. His missions included flying the first approach for the first rendezvous by a Shuttle with the Russian Mir Space Station, a docking mission to Mir and two flights to the International Space Station.

For biographical information for Wetherbee on the Internet, visit:

For information about NASA missions and projects on the Internet, visit:

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