John Bennett Herrington is a retired United States Naval Aviator, Naval Test Pilot and NASA astronaut. A native of Wetumka, Oklahoma, he graduated from Plano Senior High School (Plano, TX) and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He enlisted in the United States Navy, earning a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and a place in NASA’s Group 16 Astronaut Class of 1996.
In 2002, Commander Herrington flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-113, the 112th Shuttle mission, logging over 330 hours in space and performing 19 hours, 55 minutes of Extra-Vehicular Activity – the 143rd person to walk in space and the first Native American in history.
Since retiring from NASA, his focus has been promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers, particularly for Native American youth. He undertook RocketTrek – a 4,300-mile cross-country solo bicycle ride from Makah, Washington to Cape Canaveral (Kennedy Space Center), earned a PhD in education (University of Idaho) and wrote a children’s book, Mission to Space. He serves as Judge Advisor for Oklahoma Regional FIRST® Robotics and supports cultural and educational initiatives across the country.