Rugby Astronaut Docks At Space Station

Longtime rugby player Anne McClain is officially off-world as the NASA astronaut has arrived at the International Space Station.

The 39-year-old from Spokane, Washington, played rugby at West Point and also in England with major clubs there. She was capped by the Eagles and played in the 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup.




In the Army, McClain flew 216 combat missions as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in her Bell Kiowa Warrior helicopter, receiving several commendations and medals for her service. She was selected as part of NASA's astronaut training program in 2013.

The trip to the International Space Station was perhaps a little nerve-wracking. This was the first Soyuz flight to the ISS since October 11, when American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin had to abort their launch after a rocket booster failed.


McClain, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, and Canadian Space Agency's David Saint-Jacques launched Monday and have arrived safely. While there, McClain may participate in a couple of spacewalks that were postponed due to the previous aborted launch.