University of Illinois alum is newest American on space station - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

University of Illinois alum is newest American on space station

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URBANA (WREX) -

A University of Illinois alum is now aboard the International Space Station.

Mike Hopkins and two Russians traveled in a Soyuz capsule yesterday after blasting off from a launch pad in Kazakhstan to dock with the space station. They will spend six months at the orbiting outpost. According to the Champaign News-Gazette, 44 year old Hopkins is an Air Force colonel and earned his degree in aerospace engineering from the university in 1991.

Hopkins is the sixth University of Illinois alumnus to become an astronaut. He was raised on a farm in Richland Missouri and went to University of Illinois for the engineering school. He played on the football team, earned a scholarship and became a starting player who was co-captain his senior year.

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