- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

YORK, Maine (AP) - An astronaut and former Navy SEAL from Maine has been appointed chief of the astronaut office.

NASA officials on Thursday announced the appointment of Navy Capt. Chris Cassidy, who has spent 182 days in space and conducted six spacewalks during his career as an astronaut.

He replaces Air Force Col. Robert Behnken.

In his new role, Cassidy will oversee the office and will help develop astronaut flight crew operation concepts and crew assignments for future spaceflight missions.

Cassidy, who’s 45, considers York, Maine, to be his hometown.

He served four deployments in Afghanistan and the Mediterranean before joining the astronaut program. He served on missions with space shuttle Endeavor in 2009 and the International Space Station in 2013.

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