A graduate of Albion College was launched into space early on Wednesday, as part of the first female-led crew, Crew-5, on a SpaceX mission.

Josh Cassada Is Part Of The Four Person Crew Launched Wednesday

Josh Cassada was part of Crew-5, the first SpaceX crew to have a female commander, Nicole Aunuapu Mann, who is also the first indigenous woman to launch into space.

Robert Markowitz courtesy NASA
Robert Markowitz courtesy NASA

Also on board as part of the Crew-5 Mission is Russian Anna Kikina, the first Russian to take off from American soil since 2002, and Japanese scientist Koichi Wakata. The four will dock with the International Space Station later today to begin a 150-day science mission.

Cassada Graduated From Albion College In 1995

Cassada, a 1995 graduate of Albion College, grew up in White Bear Lake, MN and earned a B.A. in Physics. He attended graduate school at the University of Rochester, before becoming a Navy test pilot.

“Anytime someone’s dream comes true it is very exciting,” Nicolle Zellner, chair of the physics department told the Albion College web site. “Josh has said from the beginning that this is what he wanted to do and he is doing it.”

According to his official NASA biography, Cassada applied to be an astronaut in 2013, and while this is his first space flight, he has extensive experience elsewhere throughout the program:

Cassada was selected in June 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class.  His astronaut candidate training included intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, extravehicular activity, robotics, Russian language training, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training.  Following completion of astronaut candidate training in July 2015, Cassada supported real-time space station operations and integration, including serving as a capsule communicator in Mission Control, as well as development of both the Orion spacecraft and Commercial Crew Program spacecraft.

Here's Josh's "audition" reel from when he was attempting to become an astronaut back in 2013.

See The Iconic Albion Coca-Cola Mural Fully Restored

Iconic Albion Coca-Cola Mural Fully Restored

Gallery Credit: Lacy James

More From 98.7 The Grand