Chris Cassidy, of York Maine, along with two Russian cosmonauts,  launches on a six month mission to the International Space Station on March 28 at 4:43pm EST.     

Locally to celebrate The Challenger Learning Center of Maine is hosting a LIFT OFF

International Space Station, (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

PARTY Thursday, March 28 4:00-5:00pm at 30 Venture Way, Bangor, ME.   The event will highlight Maine astronaut, Chris Cassidy and include a countdown to lift off. The Challenger Center invites the public to come watch the launch live on NASA TV, make and launch a rocket, and enjoy refreshments. FREE ADMISSION (donations graciously accepted).

Christopher J. Cassidy (Commander, USN) NASA Astronaut.

Born January 4, 1970 in Salem, Massachusetts.  Considers York, Maine, to be his hometown.  Married.  He and his wife, Julie, are the proud parents of three children.

York High School, York, Maine.
Naval Academy Prep School, Newport, Rhode Island, 1989.
B.S., Mathematics, U.S. Naval Academy, 1993.
M.S., Ocean Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000.

EXPERIENCE:  Ten years as a member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams.  Specialized tactics include long range special reconnaissance (vehicular and foot patrols), direct action building assaults, non-compliant ship-boardings, desert reconnaissance patrols, combat diving, underwater explosives, and a variety of air operations, to include parachuting, fast roping, and rappelling.  He made four six-month deployments: two to Afghanistan, and two to the Mediterranean.  Cassidy served as Executive Officer and Operations Officer of Special Boat Team Twenty in Norfolk, Virginia, and SEAL Platoon Commander at SEAL Team THREE in Coronado, California.  He deployed to the Afghanistan region two weeks after 9/11/01.  He served as Ground Assault Force Commander for international and U.S. only combat missions in Afghanistan.  Led two months of non-compliant ship-boardings in the Northern Arabian Gulf.  Was SEAL Delivery Vehicle Platoon Commander at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO in Norfolk, VA.  He accumulated over 200 hours underwater as Pilot / Navigator / Mission Commander of a 2-man flooded submersible (SDV), which is launched and recovered from a host-ship submarine.  He also served as Dry Deck Shelter Platoon Commander at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO in Norfolk, VA Cassidy volunteered for and completed a week-long, 180-mile charity kayak paddle from Norfolk, VA to Washington, D.C. to raise money and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.