Rick Mastracchio is one of just five Connecticutians who have made the incredible journey from the Constitution State to the vast expanse of space. He is currently deep into preparations for his upcoming fourth expedition off the planet- and his longest one yet.
In November, he will be boarding a Russian Soyuz spacecraft leaving from Kazakhstan to spend an astounding six months at the International Space Station, a facility he helped prepare and supply on a previous mission.
Before joining NASA and logging almost 40 hours in space, Rick attended the University of Connecticut and left with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. He later completed a master's in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Hartford campus.
On an earlier excursion to the ISS, he brought with him a UConn banner, which can be currently seen at the visitor's center in Storrs. To see what he's up to this time, follow his twitter @AstroRM, where he posts regularly.
For more on this story, check out this blog post from UConn.