As the first Native American astronaut, Commander John Herrington was selected in 1996 to serve as a mission specialist in the space shuttle program. Herrington carried a Chickasaw Nation flag, presented to him personally by Governor Bill Anoatubby, aboard the space shuttle in honor of his Native American ancestry.
On November 23, 2002, Herrington traveled to space and completed three space walks which helped to build the International Space Station. Herrington continues to promote, inspire and encourage Native American youth to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. He has two children and enjoys rock climbing, snow skiing, running and cycling.