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Lee Archambault

Lee Archambault

NASA astronaut | Flew 2 shuttle missions | Class of 1982

As proud as he is of flying 22 combat missions for the Air Force during the Gulf War and two space shuttle missions for NASA, it’s his four years on the Illini hockey team that Lee Archambault (BS ’82, MS ’84) misses most.

“The big pond ice surface was huge, the fans were great and my teammates were like brothers,” says Archambault, now a Colorado-based systems engineer and flight test pilot for the Sierra Nevada Corp. 

“I looked forward to every trip to the Ice Arena, whether it be for games or practices. Even though I broke a leg, left some teeth and inherited a number of stitches, I wish those days never ended.”

How much does Archambault cherish his UI hockey days? Among the precious few possessions he opted to take on his 5.8 million-mile adventure aboard the shuttle Atlantis was an Illini hockey jersey.