- Soyuz TMA-3M crewmember
- Expeditions 30 and 31 flight engineer
Don Pettit was in the middle of doing a fumarole gas sampling on a scientific expedition in New Zealand when he got a phone call from NASA to become an astronaut. He has a doctorate in chemical engineering and was also involved in projects about fluid physics under reduced gravity conditions.
A veteran of two spaceflights, Dr Pettit has logged 177 days in space and over 13 hours on EVAs. During his first long-term mission in 2002 he was launched on the Space Shuttle Endeavour, but returned to Earth in a Soyuz capsule. Highlights of his second mission in 2008 included expanding the living quarters of the Space Station to eventually house six crewmembers.
“When I return this time to the International Space Station, it’s going to be like I’m going home – a home away from home,” says Pettit.