LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The next U.S. commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station will fly with a familiar name.
Orbital ATK announced that its next Cygnus spaceship is christened the "S.S. Rick Husband."
The mission is the first one to be named after an astronaut who actually participated in building the space station.
Orbital ATK released this statement, "Orbital ATK is proud to add Rick's name to our legacy of cargo delivery to this outpost in space, and to honor the memory of this brave and dedicated crew."
Husband was born in Amarillo and died February 1, 2003 over the southern United States when Space Shuttle Columbia and the crew died during entry, 16 minutes before scheduled landing.
Husband commanded that final, ill-fated mission.
Husband received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1980.
The launch date is scheduled for March 22 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The spacecraft will carry crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station to support Expedition 47 and 48 crews.
Click here for more information about this mission and to learn more about Husband.