Christopher John "Chris" Cassidy was born on January 4, 1970 in Salem, Massachusetts, but he considers York, Maine, to be his hometown.
He attended York High School and later graduated from the Naval Academy Preparatory School, Newport, Rhode Island. He studied Mathematics at the US Naval Academy and received a Bachelor's degree in 1993. Cassidy also has a Master's in Ocean Engineering awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of technology in 2000.
Cassidy graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL class 192 and served as a member of the Navy SEALs for ten years, specialising on long range special reconnaissance (vehicular and foot patrols), direct action building assaults, non-compliant ship-boardings, desert reconnaissance patrols, combat diving, underwater explosives, and a variety of air operations. He made a total of four six-month deployments: two to Afghanistan and two to the Mediterranean.
Cassidy served as Ground Assault Force Commander during his first Afghanistan deployment that began just two weeks after the 9/11 attacks. He served as Executive Officer and Operations Officer of Special Boat Team Twenty in Norfolk, Virginia, and SEAL Platoon Commander at SEAL Team THREE in Coronado, California as well as SEAL Delivery Vehicle Platoon Commander at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO in Norfolk. He logged more than 200 hours in a 2-man flooded submersible, the SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV). Cassidy also completed a week-long, 290-Kilometer charity kayak paddle from Norfolk to Washington D.C. to raise money and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Cassidy achieved the rank of Commander in the US Navy.
Chris Cassidy was selected as a NASA Astronaut Candidate in 2004 and completed two years of basic training and evaluations at Johnson Space Center, Houston. His training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. After completing basic training, he was assigned technical duties within the Astronaut Office. From 2006 to 2008, he worked as a CAPCOM for the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Programs.
Chris Cassidy made his first flight on Mission Space Shuttle Mission STS-127 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour that lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on July 15, 2009, setting sail for the International Space Station. On this mission, Chris Cassidy became the 500th person to fly to space.
Endeavour docked with ISS two days later to deliver the two final components of the Japanese Kibo Module to ISS, the Exposed Facility and the Exposed Section of the Experiment Logistics Section. In addition, Endeavour had an Integrated Cargo Carrier in her payload bay which delivered a variety of equipment.
When hatches between ISS and Endeavour were opened, a new world record for most people in space in the same vehicle was set as 13 humans were aboard the station at that point. A total of 11,200kg of hardware and 560kg of water was delivered to ISS on STS-127. A total of five spacewalks were performed during the flight, three of which were performed by Chris Cassidy who teamed up with David Wolf for one and Tom Marshburn for two EVA's. The spacewalks were dedicated to Kibo outfitting and transfer of external components from the Cargo Carrier to stowage locations aboard ISS. Also, six new batteries were installed during the EVAs. Cassidy logged a total of 18 hours and 5 minutes of EVA time.
Endeavour returned home after 248 orbits of Earth on July 31, 2009. On his single spaceflight, Cassidy logged 15 days, 16 hours and 45 minutes in space.
After his flight, Cassidy entered Space Station Training. He was selected to be a Flight Engineer for ISS Expeditions 35 and 36, launching aboard Soyuz TMA-08M.
Aboard ISS, Cassidy will be supporting regular science operations and maintenance for a six-month increment. Also planned for his stay aboard ISS are three spacewalks to take care of maintenance operations outside the station.
Chris Cassidy is married nad has three children.