Purdue Boilermakers in Space

Historic feats and today’s innovations are found at Purdue, the Cradle of Astronauts™ 

Few universities can match the impact that Purdue has had upon the U.S. space program. Progress in space exploration has been forged by early legends like Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Neil Armstrong to modern-day alumni working on the International Space Station and as commercial astronauts. 

Learn more about this incredible legacy, plus the preparation of a new generation of Boilermakers planning to travel to Mars and beyond. 

Purdue’s 27 astronaut alumni include Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan, the first and most recent humans to walk on the moon, as well as:  

  • Gus Grissom: Second American in space and participant in first U.S. two-person spaceflight  
  • Janice Voss: Set record for female astronauts with five spaceflights  
  • Jerry Ross: Participant in seven NASA missions and nine spacewalks  
  • Beth Moses: First female commercial astronaut  
  • Loren Shriver: Commanded space shuttle to record altitude (383 miles) to deploy Hubble Space Telescope  
  • Drew Feustel: Third-most hours spent spacewalking (61 hours, 48 minutes)

Purdue astronaut Loral O’Hara

How Purdue astronaut Loral O’Hara fulfilled her childhood space dreams

Since completing astronaut training in 2020, Loral O’Hara has been waiting for her flight to space. It’s finally coming.

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Sirisha Bandla took unconventional small steps before her giant leap into commercial spaceflight

Though setbacks could have deterred her, Bandla persisted and achieved her dream of going into space Sirisha Bandla’s earliest childhood memories involve lying on the roof of her family’s home in India and staring at the night sky. “In India, your

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Audrey Powers at Purdue’s Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering

Audrey Powers ‘overwhelmed’ to join Purdue’s Cradle of Astronauts

By performing vital engineering work during Blue Origin’s New Shepard flight, Audrey Powers qualified as Purdue’s third commercial astronaut and 27th member of the Cradle of Astronauts.

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Meet the 27 Purdue astronauts who have traveled to space. 

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