A University of Tennessee graduate will be the next commander of the International Space Station.
NASA announced Wednesday that astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore and two others will launch to the space station on September 25th.
Wilmore graduated from UT in 1994 with a masters degree in aviation systems after growing up in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
He is a captain in the US Navy, and says that experience has helped him prepare for the holidays, birthdays and other events he'll miss while in space.
"Early in my career, you can believe this or not, there was no e-mail or that kind of stuff. So you went on a ship and you didn't have a lot of ability to communicate with the outside world. And that was a good prep for this. Basically you compartmentalize, you see your tasks. You know, I think about I'm going up there. I have a very unique opportunity to do my part for my country," said Wilmore.
This won't be Wilmore's first mission.
He flew aboard space shuttle Atlantis in November 2009 to deliver parts to the space station.
The trio is expected to return to Earth in March of 2015.