Sawyer County NASA Astronaut To Fly On Russian Shuttle

A three-man crew will be blasting off in a Russian spacecraft from Kazakstan later this month. And one of the astronauts was born and raised in northern Wisconsin.

Colonel Jeffrey Williams was on board the space shuttle Atlantis in 2000. But, since then, NASA has lost a shuttle to an explosion and is now working with the Russian space agency to build the international space station, which is more than half finished.

Williams says it'll be a much different experience. He'll be blasting off in a smaller rocket that doesn't have any cargo carrying capability and the launch is from a different hemisphere.

He has three scheduled space walks. He made one space walk when he went up six years ago and remembers seeing Lake Superior from space. Williams says to view creation from that vantage point is magnificent.

The astronaut was born and raised in Winter in Sawyer County, where his parents still reside.