Astronaut John Herrington explores space at Stillwater Public Library on July 17

Story and photo provided by Stillwater Public Library

UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming interest in this program it has been moved to the Stillwater Community Center.

Retired United States Navy Commander John Herrington will visit Stillwater Public Library on Wednesday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. to share his journey of becoming a NASA astronaut and stories of his time in outer space. Herrington, who was born in Oklahoma and is a member of the Chickasaw Nation, became the first person from a federally recognized tribe to make the trip. 

“We are excited that Commander Herrington will be capping off our library’s summer in space as part of our ‘Universe of Stories’ reading program,” said Stacy DeLano, library director. “The visit has been made possible by the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium, which has been instrumental throughout the summer in sparking readers’ interest in space. They are providing an incredible opportunity for our community to learn from and be inspired by a national hero from our own home state.”

Herrington was born in Wetumka, Oklahoma, and grew up in Colorado, Wyoming and Texas. After earning an engineering degree, Herrington joined the Navy and served 22 years as an aviator, test pilot, and then astronaut.

In 2002, Herrington made the space flight to the International Space Station aboard the shuttle Endeavor. The 15 day trip included three walks into space, which made an already historic trip even more memorable.

“From lift off to completing three space walks, mission STS-113 was more exciting and challenging than I could have imagined,” Herrington said.

Herrington will share these adventures at the program. While all ages are invited to attend, the content will be most enjoyable for older children, teens and adults. 

The astronaut will also introduce his children’s book “Mission to Space” which was written in 2016. Bliss Books will be on hand with copies of the book for purchase, and Herrington will be available to sign copies after his presentation.

Before and after the program, Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium representatives will show off artifacts such as a space suit and astronaut food that attendees can see up close. The representatives will also provide information about the organization’s Educator Resource Center. For more information about the Center, visit https://nasaosgcerc.okstate.edu.

Registration for the program is requested to help facilitate seating. To sign up, go to https://tinyurl.com/JohnHerrington.

Find more information about Stillwater Public Library programs at http://library.stillwater.org

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.