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TULLAHOMA, Tenn. — Robert “Hoot” Gibson, commander of the shuttle Atlantis due to be launched Friday, is the husband of University of Tennessee graduate Dr. Rhea Seddon, also an astronaut.

Seddon, a surgeon who graduated from the UT College of Medicine in the late 1970s, has flown three shuttle missions.

Six UT Space Institute alumni are NASA astronauts. They are:

* Henry W. Hartsfield, who in the 1980s logged 483 hours on three shuttle flights, two as commander, and today is an administrator in NASA’s international space station program.

* Don Peterson, who made a free-floating space walk during a 1983 shuttle mission and is an independent aerospace consultant.

* Chris Hadfield, Jeffrey Ashby, Joe Frank Edwards Jr., and Dominic Gorie, all of whom are training for future flights.

Contact: Bob Gilbert (615-974-2225)