Dr. Piers Sellers, born in Crowborough, Sussex, United Kingdom, graduated from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1976, and received Bachelor of Science Degree in Ecological Science, and later he received a Doctorate in Biometeorology, from Leeds University in 1981.
Dr. Sellers and his wife left the UK in 1982, moving to the U.S. He began his NASA career as a Research Meteorologist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. In 1984 he began to apply annually to become an astronaut. Since he was not a U.S. citizen, he was not accepted in the Astronaut Program. He became a nationalized U.S. citizen in 1991 and was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996. He reported to the NASA Johnson Space Center in August. He completed two years of training and evaluation and was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Computer Support Branch followed by training in the Astronaut Office Space Station Branch.
Dr. Sellers first mission was aboard STS-112 “Atlantis” on Oct. 7-18, 2002. STS 112 was the first shuttle mission to use a camera on the external fuel tank, providing a live view of the launch to flight controllers and NASA TV viewers.
He performed three spacewalks and logged a total of 19 hours and 41 minutes of Extravehicular Activity, and the mission was accomplished in 170 orbits, traveling 4.5 million miles in 10 days, 19 hours and 58 minutes.
His second mission was aboard STS-121 “Discovery” launched on July 4-17, 2006. This was a return-to-flight mission assembly flight to the International Space Station. The crew performed maintenance on the space station and delivered and transferred more than 28,000 lbs of supplies and equipment. Dr. Sellers and fellow astronaut Mike Fossum performed three EVA’s to test the 50ft robotic arm boom extension as a work platform. They also tested techniques for inspecting and repairing the reinforced carbon-carbon segments that protect the shuttle’s nose cone and leading edge of the wings. The STS mission was accomplished in 306 hours, 37 minutes and 54 seconds.
Dr. Sellers, a British-American scientist, is presently assigned to the crew of STS-132 Mission in 2010.