Final Frontier

Posted in Fall 2018, The Ledger

Remember this cover from 2011? When we profiled Chris Ferguson (mechanical engineering ’84) in Drexel Magazine seven years ago, we thought we were writing a final chapter in both his career as an astronaut, and in America’s space flight program, for which he commanded the final mission. But that was before Boeing and Space X got into the galactic travel business. Ferguson, 56, is now part of Boeing’s Starliner team, in charge of building a spaceship under contract with NASA. Recently he was chosen to climb into his spacesuit once more. In mid-2019, he will command the aerospace company’s test launch of the world’s first commercial space taxi to the International Space Station, a giant leap for mankind that could one day mean ordinary people can catch a ride on a rocket, too.

portrait of chris ferguson

Days in space that Ferguson has logged —so far
Average distance in miles between Drexel and the Space Station.
Number of astronauts who are Drexel alumni. In addition to Ferguson, Drexel trained James Bagian ’73, the late Patricia Hilliard Robertson ’89 and Paul Richards ’87.
Approximate number of people who have lived on or visited the Space Station since it opened in 2000.