Jim Wetherbee

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James D. Wetherbee
James Wetherbee.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1952-11-27) November 27, 1952 (age 61)
Flushing, Queens
Other occupation
Test Pilot
Rank Captain, USN
Time in space
66d 10h 23m
Selection 1984 NASA Group
Missions STS-32, STS-52, STS-63, STS-86, STS-102, STS-113
Mission insignia
STS-32 patch.png Sts-52-patch.png Sts-63-patch.png Sts-86-patch.png Sts-102-patch.png Sts-113-patch.png

James Donald "Wxb" Wetherbee (born November 27, 1952) is a retired American naval officer and a former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of six Space Shuttle missions and is the only American to have commanded five spaceflight missions.

Wetherbee was raised in Huntington Station, New York.[1] He earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame before receiving his commission in the United States Navy. A test pilot, Wetherbee worked extensively on the F/A-18 aircraft before being selected as an astronaut candidate in 1984. He piloted mission STS-32 in 1990 and commanded missions STS-52 (1992), STS-63 (1995), STS-86 (1997), STS-102 (2001), and STS-113 (2002). The final three missions were dockings with Mir and the International Space Station; STS-113 was the last Space Shuttle mission before the Columbia disaster.

Wetherbee retired from the US Navy in 2003, and left NASA in 2005 to become a consultant. He joined BP in 2006 as a safety auditor, and retired in 2014. He is currently working as a drummer and as a consultant for leaders in hazardous environments.

Wetherbee is married and has two children.

Special honors[edit]

• In 2009, Wetherbee was inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.[2]
• In 2014, he was inducted into the Long Island Air and Space Hall of Fame in the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY. [3]
• Wetherbee is an Honorary Member of the Musicians’ Union, Local 47, American Federation of Musicians, Los Angeles, CA. [4]
• During his careers in the US Navy and NASA, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Achievement Medal, two Meritorious Unit Commendations, six Space Flight Medals, two Outstanding Leadership Medals, and four Distinguished Service Medals. [4]


  • Only American to have commanded five missions in space.[4]
  • Has landed the Space Shuttle more times than anyone (five).[4]
  • At 6'4" (1.93 m), Jim Wetherbee is the tallest person to fly in space[5]