Shane Kimbrough

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Shane Kimbrough
Kimbrough at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in September 2017
Robert Shane Kimbrough

(1967-06-04) June 4, 1967 (age 56)
EducationUnited States Military Academy (BS)
Georgia Institute of Technology (MS)
Space career
NASA astronaut
RankColonel, USA (ret.)
Time in space
388d 17h 28m
SelectionNASA Group 19 (2004)
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
59h 28m
Soyuz MS-02 (Expedition 49/50)
SpaceX Crew-2 (Expedition 65/66)
Mission insignia

Robert Shane Kimbrough (born June 4, 1967) is a retired United States Army officer and NASA astronaut. He was part of the first group of candidates selected for NASA astronaut training following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Kimbrough is a veteran of three spaceflights, the first being a Space Shuttle flight, and the second being a six-month mission to the ISS on board a Russian Soyuz craft. He was the commander of the International Space Station for Expedition 50, and returned to Earth in April 2017. He is married to the former Robbie Lynn Nickels.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born June 4, 1967, in Killeen, Texas, Kimbrough attended The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating in 1985. Kimbrough graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1989 with a B.S. in aerospace engineering. He played for the West Point baseball team for 4 years, and was selected as team captain his senior year.[2]

Military career[edit]

Kimbrough served as an Apache helicopter pilot in the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Kimbrough later attended and graduated from Georgia Tech with a M.S. in operations research in 1998. In 2000, he joined NASA and was assigned as a Flight Simulation Engineer on the Shuttle Training Aircraft where he helped NASA train astronauts on landing procedures for several years before he himself was selected for training in 2004.[1]

He retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of colonel.[3]

NASA career[edit]


STS-126 and Expedition 18 group photo.

Kimbrough was a mission specialist on STS-126, which launched on November 14, 2008. During the mission, Kimbrough performed two EVAs. On the tenth anniversary of the International Space Station, Stefanyshyn-Piper and Kimbrough successfully conducted the mission's second EVA, and Kimbrough's first, which lasted 6 hours, 45 minutes.[4] Kimbrough's second EVA was performed on November 24, 2008, and lasted 6 hours and 7 minutes. At the completion of the mission, Kimbrough's cumulative spacewalk time, was 12 hours, 52 minutes.[5]

Expedition 49/50[edit]

Shane Kimbrough during EVA on March 24, 2017

Kimbrough launched onboard Soyuz MS-02 to the International Space Station on October 19, 2016, as part of a four-month mission for Expedition 49 /50.[6] Kimbrough became commander of Expedition 50 upon the departure of Soyuz MS-01 on October 28.[7]

On January 6, 2017, Kimbrough performed his third EVA, along with Peggy Whitson. During the EVA, they installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connectors preparing the way to replace the ISS batteries. The EVA lasted 6 hours and 32 minutes.[8]

Kimbrough during an EVA with Peggy Whitson

Kimbrough performed his fourth EVA with astronaut Thomas Pesquet on January 13, 2017. During the EVA, they prepared the infrastructure to replace the ISS batteries. The EVA lasted for 5 hours and 58 minutes.[9]

On March 23, 2017, Kimbrough performed his fifth EVA with Thomas Pesquet. The main objective was to prepare the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) for installation of the second International Docking Adapter (IDA), which will accommodate commercial crew vehicle dockings. The EVA lasted for 6 hours and 34 minutes.[10]

Kimbrough photographed during a meal with crew members Andrei Borisenko and Oleg Novitskiy

On March 30, 2017, Kimbrough performed his sixth EVA with Peggy Whitson. During the EVA they connected the PMA-3 as well as installing new shields in Node 3 axial shields after losing one shield. Additionally installed another upgraded computer relay boxes on the station's truss. The EVA lasted 7 hours and 4 minutes. During this EVA Whitson became the record holder for the most EVAs for a woman (8 EVAs).[11]

Kimbrough carried a soccer ball recovered from the wreckage of the Space Shuttle Challenger to the ISS, after which it was returned to the family of Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka and put on display at Clear Lake High School in Houston.[12]

Expedition 65/66[edit]

In July 2020, NASA announced that Kimbrough would fly to space for the third time as commander of SpaceX Crew-2 along with NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.[13][14][15] Crew-2 launched and docked with the ISS on April 24, 2021, beginning their 6 month mission.[16]

During his stay on the ISS, he performed 3 EVAs to install the iROSA solar arrays on the P6 Truss, with Thomas Pesquet.[17][18] Some of the experiments he did included earth observations, protein crystal growth and cultivating cotton and peppers.[19]

Crew-2 splashed down off the coast of Florida on November 9, 2021, after a 199 days mission.[20]


Kimbrough retired from NASA on July 31, 2022.[21]


  1. ^ a b "Biography: Robert Shane Kimbrough". Astronaut Biographies. NASA. March 22, 2016.
  2. ^ Gleason, Kevin (November 24, 2016). "MISSION FIRST: Man On A Mission". Army West Point Athletics Site. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  3. ^ White, Dottie K. (March 10, 2016). "Soldiers accept 'out-of-this-world' mission". The Baltimore Sun. p. E14.
  4. ^ William Harwood for CBS News (2008). "Spacewalk No. 2 ends". Retrieved November 20, 2008.
  5. ^ William Harwood (November 24, 2008). "Spacewalk No. 4 ends". Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  6. ^ "Future Expeditions". NASA. May 26, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  7. ^ "'Golden' expedition: 50th commander takes charge of space station". October 28, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  8. ^ "Whitson Becomes World's Oldest Female Spacewalker, as EVA-38 Replaces Aging Space Station Batteries". January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  9. ^ "Second Spacewalk of 2017 Successfully Complete". NASA. January 13, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  10. ^ "Astronauts carry out first of three station spacewalks". CBS news. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  11. ^ Garcia, Mark (March 30, 2017). "Peggy Whitson Breaks Spacewalking Record". NASA.
  12. ^ Malinowski, Tonya (2018). "NASA astronaut Ellison Onizuka's soccer ball that survived the Challenger explosion". ESPN. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  13. ^ "JAXA星出彰彦宇宙飛行士の国際宇宙ステーション(ISS)長期滞在 搭乗機決定について". JAXA. July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  14. ^ "Thomas Pesquet first ESA astronaut to ride a Dragon to space". ESA Science & Exploration. July 28, 2020.
  15. ^ Potter, Sean (July 28, 2020). "NASA Announces Astronauts to Fly on SpaceX Crew-2 Mission to Space Station". NASA. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  16. ^ April 2021, Chelsea Gohd 24 (April 24, 2021). "SpaceX's first reused Crew Dragon docks at space station with four Crew-2 astronauts". Retrieved April 24, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ "ESA/NASA complete ISS spacewalk to install first new solar array". June 20, 2021. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  18. ^ "Pesquet & Kimbrough complete new solar array installation on ISS". June 25, 2021. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  19. ^ "The Scientific Journey of NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 on the Space Station". November 2, 2021. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  20. ^ Loff, Sarah (November 7, 2021). "NASA, SpaceX Adjust Crew-2 Station Departure Date". blogs.nasa. Retrieved November 7, 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  21. ^ "NASA Announces Astronaut Shane Kimbrough to Retire" (Press release). NASA. July 27, 2022.

External links[edit]

Preceded by ISS Expedition Commander
October 30, 2016 to April 10, 2017
Succeeded by