On May 18th, more than 450 people gathered in University of Tennessee Space Institute’s (UTSI) auditorium to hear UTSI grad and astronaut Butch Wilmore talk about life aboard the International Space Station.
This was Wilmore’s first visit back to the UTSI campus since 1994 when he graduated from the institute with his master’s degree in Aviation Systems.
Over 120 STEM honor students from Coffee County Middle Schools, Lincoln County, Franklin County High School, Huntland High School, Moore County, and Tullahoma City Schools had the opportunity to attend Wilmore’s talk and ask questions during a Q&A session.
Wilmore returned from space on March 12th after spending almost 6 months aboard the International Space Station, serving as commander for most of the mission. Wilmore performed three spacewalks to prepare for new international docking adapters and future U.S. commercial crew spacecraft during the mission. He also completed a spacewalk with fellow astronaut Reid Wiseman to replace a failed voltage regulator.
Wilmore became the first person to use a 3-D printer aboard the station and assembled the very first tool, a socket wrench, which he constructed entirely in space.
Since returning from space and being medically released by NASA, Wilmore is back to work full time with the Navy and is speaking about his time in space at various places around the world.
Wilmore is one of the nine astronauts who have graduated from UTSI.