NASA has selected UMass Dartmouth alumnus Scott Tingle (Mechanical Engineering, 1987), a Captain the U.S. Navy, for the crew of astronauts that will venture to the International Space Station December 17.
Capt. Tingle will launch to the space station aboard the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft with lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. He will be joined by crewmates Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Norishege Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to form the Expedition 55 crew. This will be the first spaceflight for Tingle and Kanai, and the third for Shkaplerov. They will join the station’s Expedition 54 crew and return to Earth in April 2018.
During a planned four-month mission, the station crew members will take part in about 250 research investigations and technology demonstrations not possible on Earth in order to advance scientific knowledge of Earth, space, physical and biological sciences. Science conducted on the space station continues to yield benefits for humanity and will enable future long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space, including missions past the Moon and Mars.
Capt. Tingle earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UMass Dartmouth in 1987, followed by a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, with a specialty in fluid mechanics and propulsion, from Purdue University in 1988.
In a NASA-produced video in 2015, Capt. Tingle said, “I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, and I looked at my mom and said, hey, I want to do that.” In describing the pursuit of his dream, he added, “At a young age I realized that if I wanted to get somewhere, if I wanted to be an astronaut, I was going to have to start working early and hard to make it happen.’’
Retired UMass Dartmouth Professor Ron Dipippo remembers Capt. Tingle. “Scott Tingle has been preparing for his trip into space all his life,” Dipippo said. “It is not often that a student tells his professor that his goal is to become an astronaut. Only once in my 37-year teaching career did that ever happen. Scott Tingle was that student. I watched this remarkable young man quietly gaining the knowledge, skills and confidence that would become essential pieces in his engineering toolkit.”
Capt. Tingle was commissioned as a naval officer in 1991 and earned the gold wings of a naval aviator in 1993. He has accumulated more than 4,000 hours in 48 types of aircraft, 700 carrier landings and 54 combat missions. He graduated from Navy Test Pilot School in 1998.
Born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, he considers Randolph, Massachusetts, his home. He graduated from Blue Hills Regional Vocational High School in Canton.
UMass Dartmouth and NASA are working on establishing a downlink from the space station to the university so university and area high school students can interact with Capt. Tingle. A date and time for the downlink is being scheduled.
Capt. Tingle shares his experiences on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Astro_Maker