Degree from Space

Honoring Dr. Drew Feustel

BY LESA PETERSEN

Proving that Purdue Science degrees truly are out of this world, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) alumnus and NASA astronaut Andrew J. “Drew” Feustel (BS ’89, MS ’91) dropped in via live NASA feed from the International Space Station (ISS) to receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the College of Science commencement ceremony on May 11.

Fellow Purdue astronaut Scott Tingle (MS ’88, Mechanical Engineering) hooded Feustel from the ISS during the ceremony, without the usual assistance from Earth’s gravity. After the doctoral hood — and the crowd’s cheers and laughter — settled down, Feustel and Tingle addressed the graduates.

Feustel docked aboard the ISS after his Expedition 56 crew launched on March 21. Tingle was a member of the Expedition 55 crew that spent 168 days aboard the ISS before returning to Earth on June 3.

Astronauts Scott Tingle and Drew Feustel live from International Space Station at Purdue commencement

5. Purdue alumni Scott Tingle (left) and Drew Feustel on the big screen in Elliott Hall of Music during the commencement NASA live feed from space.

President Mitch Daniels speaks at the podium

4. “Greetings, distinguished and distant colleagues,” began Purdue President Mitch Daniels’ honorary doctorate conferral speech.

Purdue Astronaut Drew Feustel

3. The decision to study at Purdue “changed my life and set me on a path to the stars,” said Feustel during his remarks.

Purdue alumna Indira Feustel

2. Indira Feustel, Purdue alumna and wife of Drew Feustel, watches from Elliott Hall as her husband receives the honorary doctorate.

Overhead view of the International Space Station

1. Drew Feustel will continue his work on the ISS for NASA Expedition 56, a 168-day mission, in the role of commander until his crew returns to Earth in early October. This is his third spaceflight.