The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced the resignation of veteran astronaut Ed Lu.
Lu, who flew on two shuttle missions and lived six months aboard the International Space Station as a member of the orbiting laboratory's seventh crew, is leaving NASA to "pursue private interests," officials said.
Lu's NASA tenure included more than six hours of spacewalking. He was the first American to launch as flight engineer of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, as well as the first American to both launch and land on a Soyuz.
Selected as an astronaut in 1994, Lu first flew in May 1997 aboard Atlantis for the STS-84 mission, the sixth shuttle mission to visit the Russian space station Mir. He next flew in 2000 on mission STS-106, also aboard Atlantis, performing a spacewalk during a mission to the International Space Station. He returned to the ISS in 2003 as flight engineer and NASA science officer of Expedition 7, the first two-person resident crew.
Born July 1, 1963, in Springfield, Mass., Lu holds a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University and a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
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