After 18 months of intense training, Navy SEAL Lt. Cmdr. Chris Cassidy has graduated and is a NASA astronaut.

Cassidy, who grew up in York, Maine, and was stationed for nearly a decade in Norfolk, VA, is available for interviews by satellite from 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. CST Wednesday, March 15. He and 10 classmates received official NASA Astronaut pins in a private ceremony Feb. 10. Media interested in interviewing Cassidy should contact Stephanie Stoll at (281) 483-9071, office or (713) 508-0581, pager, by 3 p.m. CST March 14.

Cassidy was serving a six-month deployment to Afghanistan as a Navy SEAL when selected by NASA in May 2004. His astronaut candidate class reported to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to begin training. The training included scientific and technical briefings, physiological training, water and land survival courses, T-38 flight instruction and space shuttle and International Space Station systems training.

Cassidy is assigned as a mission specialist in the Astronaut Office’s Space Station Operations and Capsule Communicator branches. Cassidy is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He received a master’s from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For biographical information on NASA astronauts on the Web, visit:

The interviews and a b-roll feed of Cassidy and his astronaut classmates will be carried on the NASA Television analog satellite. The b-roll feed will air 5:30am-6:00am CST. The coordinates are: satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 5C, 3800 MHz, vertical polarization, with audio at 6.8 MHz.