Veteran Astronauts Michael Baker And Mike Fossum Retire From NASA

First Posted: Jan 12, 2017 02:12 AM EST

Two veteran astronauts, Michael Baker and Mike Fossum, have retired from NASA on Jan. 7. Both astronauts will work in a private sector.

Mike Fossum was employed by NASA as a Systems Engineer in January 1993. He was then chosen to represent the Flight Crew Operations Directorate in redesigning the International Space Station (ISS) later in 1993. He also became a Flight Test Engineer on the X-38, which is a prototype crew escape vehicle for the ISS, in 1997.

Brian Kelly, the director of Flight Operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center, said that Mike Fossum has been a personal friend for over two decades. He further said that his outstanding service to America and NASA has prepared him well for whatever challenges lie ahead. Brian Kelly wishes him and his wonderful family all the best.

Meanwhile, Michael Baker was a part of the team for the redesigning, modification and improvements of the Shuttle Landing and Deceleration Systems in NASA from January 1986 to December 1987. He was also assigned to the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory.

Michael Baker piloted the space shuttle Atlantis for STS-43, which was his first flight in 1991. Then, he piloted STS-52 in 1992 followed by two missions that include STS-68 in 1994 and STS-81 in 1997. Michael Baker spent about 965 hours in space, according to NASAMichael Baker was also involved in NASA operations in Russia and Kazakhstan, in which he had many trips.

Brian Kelly said that it is hard to image NASA operations in Russia and Kazakhstan without Michael Baker. He further said that Baker has been a part of their work there since the International Space Station came into being. He added that Baker will be missed, but they wish him well in his next endeavor.

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