Three AF Academy grads to lead shuttle mission

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Three Air Force Academy graduates will lead the space shuttle crew when it takes off later this week.

Steven Lindsey is mission commander. Eric Boe is a pilot, and Alvin Drew is one of four mission specialists.

Lindsey is a 1982 graduate,  majored in engineering sciences at the academy. He has 6,500 flying hours in more than 50 aircraft. He’s logged more than 1,203 hours in space.

Boe is a 1987 graduate, he majored in astronautics. He has more than 4,000 flying hours in more than 40 aircraft and was last in space as pilot for the November 2008 mission.

Drew majored in astronautics and graduated in 1984. He is one of the shuttle’s mission specialists, who will participate in extravehicular activity. He has more than 3,500 flying hours in more than 30 different types of aircraft and logged 305 hours as a crewmember. He will spend 13 hours performing spacewalks outside the station on flight days five and seven.

Discovery, which is scheduled to launch Thursday at 2:40 p.m., will be in space for 11 days.