Source: Sherman Publications

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All eyes to the sky
Lake Orion grad blasts off Friday on Space Shuttle Endeavour

April 27, 2011

Here's a look at the back page in this week's print editon.
By Don Rush

Countdown for the space shuttle Endeavour's crew started at 2 p.m., yesterday (Tuesday). Many across the nation, and especially here in Lake Orion, will watch on their computers and on their television screens when the Endeavour blasts-off for what could be its last mission, Friday at 3 p.m.

Locally, folks are proud as one of the six STS-134 crew members is Lake Orion native and 1983 high school graduate, Andrew Feustel. Commanding the crew is Mark Kelly; the pilot is Gregory Johnson; Mission Specialists are Feustel, Michael Finke, Greg Chamitoff and Euopean Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.

According to NASA's website, the Endeavour will, "deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, additional spare parts for Dextre." Dextre is short for the Canadian-built Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator. It has arms three meters in length and can attach power tools as fingers. The AMS is a state-of-the-art "cosmic ray particle physics detector designed to examine fundamental issues about matter and the origin and structure of the universe."

Feustel was raised and educated in Lake Orion. He is married to Indira Devi Bhatnagar of Ontario.

According to NASA's wrap sheet on Feustel, he enjoys auto restoration, guitar, and water and snow skiing. His parents both live in Michigan. He earned an Associate Science degree from Oakland Community College; B.S. in Solid Earth Sciences from Purdue University. He has a Masters in Geophysics from Purdue and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences specializing in Seismology from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 1995.

Selected as a Mission Specialist by NASA in July 2000, Feustel reported for training in August 2000. His training included five weeks of training at Naval Air Station, Florida. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Space Shuttle and Space Station Branches. He served on the crew of STS-125 Atlantis, the final Space Shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. The mission successfully extended and improved the observatory's capabilities through 2014. In completing his first space mission, Feustel logged almost 13 days in space.

To watch the takeoff live, go to