Astronaut Tony Antonelli leaves NASA after 15-year career
Another of NASA’s highly-trained and experienced space flyers has decided to leave the Space Agency. Dominic A. “Tony” Antonelli, who has been with NASA for 15 years, has concluded his time with the agency – his last day was on July 10. Antonelli joins Stephen Frick, who left NASA three days later, as well as other members of the Astronaut Corps since the close of the Space Shuttle Program.
Antonelli flew to orbit twice; the first time was on Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-119. The second time he flew on board Atlantis on mission STS-132. Both trips were to the International Space Station and both times Antonelli served as the mission’s pilot.
“Tony was a major contributor to our office,” said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. “His skills and expertise were extremely valuable to our exploration and Space Launch System engineering team. We wish him the best in his future pursuits.”
Like Frick, Antonelli is a retired Captain in the U.S. Navy. He has flown 41 different kinds of aircraft, totaling more than 3,200 hours of flight time; this includes some 273 aircraft-carrier arrested landings.
His time on orbit saw Antonelli accumulate a total of 24 days, 3 hours, and 57 minutes. During STS-119, the oft-flown orbiter carried the Starboard Integrated Truss Segment to the International Space Station as well as the final pair of the station’s solar arrays.
Launched in May of 2010, the STS-132 mission saw the Russian Rassvet Mini-Research Module, along with an Integrated Cargo Carrier-Vertical Light Deployable (ICC-VLD), sent up to the orbiting laboratory.
Antonelli obtained degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge as well as the University of Washington in Seattle.
Besides Frick, a number of other astronauts have decided to leave the space agency since the close of the Space Shuttle Program in the summer of 2011.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.