At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 63 crewmember Chris Cassidy of NASA suits up March 25, 2020, for pre-launch training activities. Credit: Andrey Shelepin / Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center via NASA

Maine astronaut Christopher Cassidy said Friday that he is retiring from NASA and the U.S. Navy.

Cassidy, who graduated from York High School and made the announcement in an Instagram live video, spent 17 years working with NASA and served for 28 years in the U.S. Navy. He served as a Navy SEAL for 11 of those years.

Throughout his career as an astronaut, Cassidy completed three space flights, returning from his most recent last October.

He was also named the chief of the Astronaut Office in 2015, a position that he held for two years.

Cassidy has spent a total of 378 days in space since his career as an astronaut started in 2004, and has spent 54 hours and 51 minutes on spacewalks.

“It’s been an amazing run, I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities, on the ground, in the air, in space and underwater,” Cassidy said Friday. “I’m just so privileged and feel so lucky to have worked with the folks that I have.”

Cassidy is one of three Mainers who have gone into space. The others are Caribou native Jessica Meir, who completed her first spaceflight in April 2020, and Bar Harbor native Charles O. Hobaugh.

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is a journalism and anthropology student at the University of Maine, and will graduate in May. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley and staying active in the Maine...