Dr. John Herrington, explorer, adventurer, and the world’s first Indigenous astronaut, read and signed his children’s book, Mission to Space, at BookPeople of Moscow in Moscow, ID on September 9. In the book, Herrington shares his passion for space travel and his Chickasaw heritage as he gives children a glimpse into his astronaut training at NASA and his mission to the International Space Station.
Dr. Herrington is a native of Oklahoma and a proud member of the Chickasaw Nation. He has earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a PhD in Education from the University of Idaho.
He is a retired Naval Aviator; a test pilot with over 4,700 hours in more than 30 different types of aircraft.
In 1996, Herrington was selected by NASA to become an astronaut. He flew as a Mission Specialist on STS-113 in 2002, logging over 330 hours in space and conducting three spacewalks totaling nearly 20 hours. This historic mission was the first to honor an astronaut as the first Indigenous person in space.
Following his career in the United States Navy and NASA, Commander Herrington has been an ardent supporter of education, specifically in the Native American community. Herrington’s research on the motivation and engagement of Native American students in math and science led to his PhD in Education from the University of Idaho in December 2014.
In 2008 he bicycled more than 4,200 miles across the length of the United States speaking to Native American students and NASA Explorer Schools about the importance
of motivation and mentors on their educational journey.
Dr. Herrington has been honored with numerous awards and two honorary doctorates in science, one from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the other from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. On November 9, 2017 Dr. Herrington will be inducted in the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Hall of Fame.