JOHNSON CITY, NY – The SpaceX flight scheduled for tomorrow afternoon has more than one local hero contributing to the historic mission.
Johnson City High School graduate Joe Dervay is the flight physician.
He’s been looking after the astronauts to make sure they are in top condition for the grueling flight they are about to embark on.
Dervay attended St. Michaels Orthodox Church in Binghamton growing up, and still visits from time to time, while his extended family are still members.
Father Jim Dutko says the Southern Tier can be proud of the dedication Dervay has to NASA.
“In this country, if you go to school, if you work hard, you can be anything you want to be. You just have to put your butt in the chair and do the work. People have demonstrated that it is possible. Here he is. His grandparents came from eastern Europe a long time ago. His mom and dad lived here and he grew up in this town, and he’s done great things, but it is possible for everyone,” says Dutko.
Dutko added that Dervay played with model rockets when he was a child.
And Dervay once arranged for a special religious medallion to be flown into space on a prior flight and it’s currently on display in the church’s atrium.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule will carry two astronauts to the International Space Station including Apalachin native Doug Hurley.