Captain William Shepherd was born July 26, 1949, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, but considers Babylon, New York his hometown. Married to Beth Stringham of Houston, Texas. He enjoys sailing, swimming, and working in his garage. His mother, Mrs. Barbara Shepherd, resides in Bethesda, Maryland. His father, Mr. George R. Shepherd, is deceased. Bill graduated from Arcadia High School, Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1967; received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971, and the degrees of ocean engineer and master of science in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978.
Captain Shepherd was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971, and has served with Underwater Demolition Team ELEVEN, SEAL Teams ONE and TWO, and Special Boat Unit TWENTY.
Selected by NASA in May 1984. A veteran of four space flights, Shepherd has logged over 159 days in space. Most recently, he was the Commander of the Expedition-1 crew on the International Space Station (October 31, 2000 to March 21, 2001). Earlier he made three flights as a mission specialist on STS-27 (December 2-6, 1988), STS-41 (October 6-10, 1990) and STS-52 (October 22 to November 1, 1992). From March 1993 to January 1996, Shepherd was assigned to the Space Station Program and served in various management positions. Captain Shepherd is the recipient of NASA’s “Steve Thorne” Aviation Award
William M. Shepherd will join an elite group of American space heroes as he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® during a public ceremony at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Saturday, May 2, 2009. They will be welcomed to the ranks of legendary space pioneers like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Jim Lovell, Sally Ride and John Young – distinguished members of this unique Hall of Fame.
This is the eighth group of Space Shuttle astronauts named to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Earlier inductees represent the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs. The addition of Nelson, one of only four space shuttle astronauts to fly the Manned Maneuvering Unit untethered in space; Shepherd, commander of the first crew to man the International Space Station; and Wetherbee, commander of the longest docked shuttle-Mir mission, will bring the number of space explorers enshrined in the Hall of Fame to 73.
The 2009 inductees were selected by a committee of current Hall of Fame astronauts, former NASA officials and flight directors, historians, journalists and other space authorities. The process is administered by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1984 to support students seeking degrees in science and technology. To be eligible, an astronaut must have made his or her first flight at least 17 years before the induction year and must be retired at least five years from NASA’s astronaut corps. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen, NASA-trained, commander, pilot or mission specialist and must have orbited the earth at least once. Committee members receiving ballots evaluate not only an individual’s flight accomplishments but also how he or she contributed to the success and future success of the U.S. Space Program in post-flight assignments. |
A four-time space shuttle astronaut, William M. Shepherd (Captain, USN) commanded the first mission to the International Space Station (ISS), living and working aboard the outpost for 141 days, from October 2000 to March 2001.
A former Navy SEAL, Shepherd’s first flight was as a mission specialist for STS-27, a 1988 classified Department of Defense mission. He also flew on STS-41, launching the Ulysses probe exploring the polar regions of the sun, and on STS-52, which deployed a laser geodynamic satellite and operated the U.S. Microgravity Payload.
Shepherd also served as Program Manager and Deputy Program Manager for the ISS program from 1993 to 1996, and helped craft the U.S. government’s framework for a joint space station program with the Russians.
Additionally, he filmed segments of “Space Station,” an award-winning IMAX 3D film about the in-orbit construction of the ISS.
Shepherd is a recipient of the prestigious Congressional Space Medal of Honor. He also went on to become a civilian engineer assigned to the staff of the Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, to assist with the development of new capabilities and programs for the SEALs and Special Boat Sailors of Tomorrow.