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Decorated NASA astronaut, Georgia Tech alum to retire

Shane Kimbrough spent 388 days in space across an 18-year career as an astronaut.

ATLANTA — After more than two decades with NASA and more days in space than all but a handful of people in the space agency's history, a legendary astronaut with metro Atlanta ties is calling it a career.

Shane Kimbrough, who graduated from The Lovett School in 1985 and earned a Master's degree from Georgia Tech in 1998, will spend his last day with NASA on Sunday, the agency said in a release.

It will bring to a close a 22-year career, which included 18 years as an astronaut.

According to NASA, Kimbrough - a retired U.S. Army colonel - logged the fifth-most cumulative time in space all-time among NASA astronauts, with 388 days.

RELATED: Astronaut and Atlanta native Shane Kimbrough speaks at Georgia Tech

The agency said he also performed nine spacewalks and was just the fourth person to fly on three different spacecraft - the space shuttle, Soyuz and SpaceX Crew Dragon.

Just last year he was in space as the SpaceX Crew-2 commander mission to the International Space Station. While he was up there, he congratulated the Braves on winning the World Series.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a NASA astronaut for the past 18 years,” Kimbrough said in a statement. “I am honored to have been able to fly on three different spacecraft and to spend time at the International Space Station. I’ve worked with the best of the best in orbit and on the ground and am grateful for those that have supported me and my family. I’ve wanted to be an astronaut since I was a little kid watching NASA astronauts go to the Moon. To accomplish three spaceflights and nearly 400 days in space in my career is truly a dream come true.”

Chief Astronaut Reid Wiseman with the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston called him a "mentor to many astronauts" and said, "it has been an absolute pleasure and honor to serve with him."

11Alive caught up with Kimbrough last year in a long-distance chat over Skype from the International Space Station.

He explained the perspective from space but also shared what's close to his heart.

“Atlanta’s home. Every time we go back there, it just feels right. Take care, Atlanta,” he said during the interview.

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