Nebraska's man in space has touched down for the last time.
Clayton Anderson said he will retire at the end of this month, grounding a career at NASA that included 15 years as an astronaut and 15 as an engineer. The 53-year-old Omaha native first mentioned his intentions to retire publicly on his Twitter account Saturday. In a tweet, he said, "Calling all Tweeps. Guess u know now that I have decided to retire after 30 years w/NASA. It's been an awesome ride."
He confirmed that announcement during an interview at the Tom Osborne Leadership Award event at Lochland Country Club Wednesday hosted by Leadership Hastings. Anderson was honored as the third recipient of the award, named for the retired Husker football coach, congressional representative and University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic director.
He said he and his wife, Susan, and their two children, Clayton and Marie, will remain in Houston for the time being but could return to Nebraska to reside at some point. Much like the majority of his career at NASA, his future plans are very much up in the air, he said.
"I'm looking forward to finishing the book I've been writing for several years, and I'll be doing some public speaking, but I really don't know specifically what I'll be doing in the future," Anderson said. "I'm looking forward to spending some time with my son and daughter, and maybe doing some honey-dos that my wife will have ready for me. But there's something else, something more.
"I truly believe that God has a bigger plan for me. I just have to figure out what it is. Anything is a possibility right now. No doors are closed."