Volume: 04, Issue: 22 07/07/2006 
STS-121 Mission Specialist Piers Sellers is attired in a training version of the shuttle launch and entry suit. Image credit: NASA.
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STS-121 Mission Specialists Piers Sellers (right) and Stephanie Wilson participate in an exercise in the systems engineering simulator at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. Image credit: NASA.
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Astronaut Piers Sellers, STS-121 mission specialist. Image credit: NASA.
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Other Articles in This Issue:
Space Shuttle Discovery
Commander Steve Lindsey
Pilot Mark Kelly
Mission Specialist Mike Fossum
Mission Specialist Lisa Nowak
Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson
Mission Specialist Thomas Reiter

Mission Specialist Piers Sellers

Piers Sellers is assigned to the crew of STS-121 as a mission specialist. He was born April 11, 1955, in Crow borough, Sussex, United Kingdom, and is married with two children. Sellers graduated from Cranbrook School, received a Bachelor of Science in Ecological Science from the University of Edinburgh, and then received a Doctorate in Biometeorology from Leeds University in 1981.

Piers was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, and he reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Piers completed his first flight on STS-112 logging over 252 hours in space, including almost 20 EVA hours in 3 spacewalks. STS-112 Atlantis was an International Space Station assembly mission during which the crew conducted joint operations with the Expedition-5 in delivering and installing the S-One Truss.

When asked in a 2006 interview, ďAs critical as the shuttle has been to building the space station, the space station itself isnít really the final goal. Itís a step toward a goal. Tell me, from your perspective, how you would evaluate the contribution of the space station to the future of human space exploration,Ē Sellers replied,

I think itís going to be invaluable. Looking back, it will be seen as an invaluable tool, I think, towards getting us out into the rest of the solar system. Thereís the obvious things, you know. We will have developed techniques for long-duration human spaceflight. We will have looked at technologies that can support people and machines over long flights. Neither of these things is trivial. Theyíre hard to do. Another thing that people can often overlook is that it was the first time that many of the countries of the world joined together to try and do something like this ó something very difficult, something of purely peaceful value, purely to do with science and exploration ó and thatís a first, and thatís something else that we can build on. So I think that itís an important point in the development of space exploration. Itís tough to see that right now, when weíre mired in fixing the Trailing Umbilical System and repairing all the widgets and gadgets on station. But I think when we look back at it from the perspective of 20 years weíll see it as a vital stepping-stone.

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