CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Col. Randy Bresnik, a graduate of The Citadel, returned to earth Thursday after spending 139 days on the International Space Station.
He and his crew landed safely in Kazakhstan at 3:37 a.m. according to NASA.
Bresnik was the commander of Expedition 53 and arrived at the ISS on July 28, 2017 after taking off from Kazakhstan and orbiting the earth four times after launch.
Bresnik said prior to the launch that he will always be grateful to his alma mater for equipping him with the tools to conquer any role.
"I had never been east of the Mississippi before and I hadn't felt humidity like that before" he said. "So that first freshman year, my knob year, was certainly an interesting year."
While at The Citadel, Bresnik studied mathematics and obtained multiple scholarships. He made the Dean's List and was considered a Gold Star student. He graduated in 1989 and went into the Marines. He later earned a Masters degree from Tennessee in 2002. Bresnik was selected as part of NASA's astronaut class 9 in 2004 as one of 11 from over 4,000 applicants.
He's the first graduate of The Citadel to have the chance to fly in space.
A Russian and European astronaut joined Bresnik on his journey back to earth. The undocked from the ISS at 12:14 a.m. ET Thursday.
The crew has conducted hundreds of experiments during their time above the earth, according to NASA
He was also part of the Space Shuttle Atlantis mission that docked with the ISS for 11 days in 2009. His daughter was born during the assignment and the crew celebrated with cigars.