Updated: 05/13/2014 7:34 PM
Created: 05/13/2014 3:00 PM WNYT.com
By: Ben Gorenstein
Two RPI grads are trading places high above the Earth.
Veteran Astronaut Rick Mastracchio is returning from his eighth spacewalk Tuesday after six months on the International Space Station.
In two weeks, Astronaut Reid Wiseman will head up there for his first spaceflight.
He will be joined by another NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, along with Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and Maxim Suraev of the Russian Federal Space Agency.
Wiseman earned a Bachelor’s Degree from RPI in Computer and Systems Engineering in 1997. He then went on to study at Johns Hopkins University, and the U.S. Naval Pilot School.
Mastracchio earned a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from RPI’s Hartford Campus in 1987. He also has degrees from the University of Connecticut and University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Last month, he did a video-chat from space with current RPI students.
Several hundred science experiments are planned during the six month mission.
The astronauts are expected to return in November.