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Senator Collins Meets with Former NASA Astronaut & York Native Chris Cassidy and Medal of Honor recipient LTC William Swenson

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins met with Chris Cassidy, a York native and former astronaut who recently retired from NASA after 17 years of service.  Captain Cassidy, who currently serves as the CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum, was accompanied by LTC William Swenson, who received the Medal of Honor in 2013 for his valor in the Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan. 


“I enjoyed speaking with Chris about his most recent mission to the International Space Station,” said Senator Collins.  “Mainers are incredibly proud of Chris’ extraordinary accomplishments over his three decades of service to our nation in the Navy and at NASA.  He has inspired so many students across our state to reach for the stars and be whatever they want to be.  I was also honored to meet LTC Swenson and discuss his experiences and heroism in Afghanistan.”


Captain Cassidy attended York High School, the U.S. Naval Academy, and MIT.  He served eleven years as a U.S. Navy SEAL and earned two Bronze Stars.  In 2004, Captain Cassidy was selected for NASA’s astronaut program.  During his NASA career, Captain Cassidy spent a combined 378 days in space and completed ten spacewalks totaling 54 hours, 51 minutes.  Cassidy’s NASA service includes a stint as the 14th Chief Astronaut.


His final expedition was in 2020 as Commander of the International Space Station.  When he joined Dr. Jessica Meir in orbit, it marked the first time in history that two Mainers were in space simultaneously.


Captain Cassidy and LTC Swenson were on Capitol Hill to advocate for passage of a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) that would establish a memorial in Washington, D.C., recognizing Medal of Honor recipients.  Senator Collins is a co-sponsor of the bill.