Police Athletic League of Philadelphia



Out of this World: PAL Alum on Atlantis’ Final Journey!

Astronaut Chris Ferguson signs autographs for PAL youth during his 2006 visit

PHILADELPHIA, PA – July 12, 2011 –Chris Ferguson is thousands of miles away in space. As far as he may venture, though, he will always have a close personal tie to the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia. Ferguson, an astronaut on NASA’s final space shuttle mission, is a Philadelphia-area native and former PAL youngster.  Taking part in this historic journey,Ferguson will always be remembered as one of the astronauts to participate in NASA’s final excursion. 

While a member of PAL, Ferguson took advantage of PAL’s offerings and was a drummer in PAL’s Drum and Bugle Corps. Ferguson thinks very highly of PAL and, in the past, has given back to an organization that has helped mold him into who he is today.  After a previous space mission, Ferguson visited the Tacony PAL center and told tales of his adventures to more than 50 youngsters.  He also presented PAL with a PAL shirt that he took into orbit with him – the only PAL shirt to ever make its way into the great beyond! 

Lieutenant Bryan Anthony, PAL’s Commanding Officer, commented on Ferguson and the man that he has become, noting, “Chris is one of the great examples of a PAL youngster achieving his dreams and reaching for the stars – literally.  We’re so proud of him and we’re proud to call him a part of our organization.  He’s a wonderful inspiration to thousands of our youth here in Philadelphia, and we wish him the best of luck on his mission and safe return.”

NASA’s Atlantis Shuttle, on which Ferguson departed into space, is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center at 5:56 am on July 21, 2011.  From all of us here at PAL, thank you, Chris, for showing us that not even the sky is the limit if we’re determined to succeed.

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