Oregon astronaut prepares for return to space - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon astronaut prepares for return to space

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SILVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

An astronaut who was raised in Silverton, OR, will soon be taking another trip into space.

Don Pettit and his crew are scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan on Dec. 21 for a trip to the International Space Station, NASA officials said. They'll be traveling on board a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

NASA is now paying Russia to send U.S. astronauts into space, following the retirement of the space shuttle program earlier this year.

Next week's expedition to the International Space Station will not be the first for Pettit. He spent six months on the ISS in 2002, and was part of a mission in 2008 as well.

Pettit grew up in Silverton and is an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1978, and received a doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1983, according to NASA.

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