True Heros
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But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31


"Growing up, I underestimated myself. I really couldn't see a path from where I was going and being in the space program. I'm glad I figured out I was wrong."---Dave Brown M.D. (CAPTAIN, USN)


David M. Brown

David M. Brown was a varsity gymnast at the College of William and Mary in Virginia when he got a phone call: Would he like to join the circus? So during the summer of 1976, he was an acrobat, tumbler, stilt walker and 7-foot unicycle rider.

"What I really learned from that, and transfers directly to what I'm doing on this crew, is kind of the team work and the safety and the staying focused, even at the end of a long day when you're tired and you're doing some things that may have some risk to them," he said.

Brown, a Navy pilot and a physician, received his undergraduate biology degree from William and Mary in 1978 and earned his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk in 1982.

Brown joined the Navy after his medical internship and went on to fly the A-6E Intruder and FA-18 Hornet.

NASA chose him as an astronaut in 1996. A mission specialist, he helped with the scientific experiments on the shuttle Columbia. He worked the graveyard shift on Columbia's round-the-clock science mission.

Brown, 46, soared into orbit on Jan. 16 with a flag from Yorktown High in Arlington, Va., his alma mater, that another graduate took up Mount Everest. "I'm going to get it a little bit higher up, but I won't have to walk as far to get it there," he said before his first spaceflight.

Brown had said Friday from orbit that the crew was looking forward to coming home.

"As much as we've enjoyed it up here, we're also starting to look forward to seeing all the people back on Earth that we miss and love so much," he said.

At a speech in September at the College of William and Mary, Brown told the freshman class that the risks of spaceflight were no greater than risks taken by his school's founders.

"Over his life, James Blair made five trips and 10 crossings of the Atlantic Ocean that were dedicated to the founding of the university. Each voyage was extremely risky," Brown said. "I think my chances of making it back are far better than were Blair's."
---Dave Brown M.D.



"I stopped thinking about it after trying to figure out what are the lessons learned, and there are so many. After I had basically sorted that out, I figured it's time to really look at the future and not at the past."----Kalpana Chawla (PH.D.) NASA ASTRONAUT


Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla, 41, a native of India, was flight engineer and mission specialist aboard the shuttle Columbia.

.It was her second flight aboard Columbia. In 1997 she was a mission specialist and prime robotic arm operator for STS-87. In completing her first mission, she traveled 6.5 million miles in 252 orbits of the Earth and logged 376 hours in space.

She was selected by NASA in 1994. After training, she was assigned as crew representative to work technical issues for the Astronaut Office. Her assignments included work on development of robotic situational awareness displays and testing space shuttle control software in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory.

In 1988, Chawla started work at the NASA Ames Research Center in the area of powered-lift computational fluid dynamics.

In 1993, she joined Overset Methods Inc., in Los Altos, Calif., as vice president and research scientist to form a team with other researchers specializing in simulation of moving multiple body problems.

She earned a doctorate of philosophy in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1988, and a master's of science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas in 1984.

A native of Karnal, India, Chawla graduated with a bachelor's of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College, India, in 1982. She was a naturalized U.S. citizen.

She held a Certificated Flight Instructor's license with airplane and glider ratings, Commercial Pilot's licenses for single- and multi-engine land and seaplanes, and gliders.




"I was always fascinated by science-fiction shows, shows like 'Star Trek' and 'Lost in Space.

And going out of your house and looking up and seeing jets fly by, that seemed like another very exciting thing to do. So I knew I wanted to fly airplanes, and I knew I wanted to do something really exciting, and I always had a natural interest in science.

So it all kind of came together at a very young age, and I thought being an astronaut would be the perfect job."----Michael P. Anderson (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF)


Michael P. Anderson

Michael P. Anderson, Born December 25, 1959, in Plattsburgh, New York. Considers Spokane, Washington, to be his hometown. Married. He enjoys photography, chess, computers, and tennis.

Graduated from Cheney High School in Cheney, Washington, in 1977. Bachelor of science degree in physics/astronomy from University of Washington, 1981. Master of science degree in physics from Creighton University, 1990.

Distinguished graduate USAF Communication Electronics Officers course. Recipient of the Armed Forces Communication Electronics Associations Academic Excellence Award 1983. Received the USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training Academic Achievement Award for Class 87-08 Vance AFB. Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the USAF Meritorious Service Medal, and the USAF Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

Anderson graduated form the University of Washington in 1981 and was commissioned a second lieutenant. After completing a year of technical training at Keesler AFB Mississippi he was assigned to Randolph AFB Texas. At Randolph he served as Chief of Communication Maintenance for the 2015 Communication Squadron and later as Director of Information System Maintenance for the 1920 Information System Group.

In 1986 he was selected to attend Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma. Upon graduation he was assigned to the 2nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron, Offutt AFB Nebraska as an EC 135 pilot, flying the Strategic Air Commands airborne command post code-named "Looking Glass".

From January 1991 to September 1992 he served as an aircraft commander and instructor pilot in the 920th Air Refueling Squadron, Wurtsmith AFB Michigan. From September 1992 to February 1995 he was assigned as an instructor pilot and tactics officer in the 380 Air Refueling Wing, Plattsburgh AFB New York. Anderson has logged over 3000 hours in various models of the KC-135 and the T-38A aircraft.

Selected by NASA in December 1994, Anderson reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. He completed a year of training and evaluation, and is qualified for flight crew assignment as a mission specialist. Anderson was initially assigned technical duties in the Flight Support Branch of the Astronaut Office.

Shuttle-Mir docking mission during which the crew transferred more than 9,000 pounds of scientific equipment, logistical hardware and water from Space Shuttle Endeavour to Mir. In the fifth and last exchange of a U.S. astronaut, STS-89 delivered Andy Thomas to Mir and returned with David Wolf. Mission duration was 8 days, 19 hours and 47 seconds, traveling 3.6 million miles in 138 orbits of the Earth.




"It's very, very peculiar to be the first Israeli up in space, especially because of my background, but my background is kind of a symbol of a lot of other Israelis' background.

My mother is a Holocaust survivor. My father fought for the independence of Israel, not so long ago. I'm kind of the proof for them, and for the whole Israeli people, that whatever we fought for is becoming true.

When talking to Holocaust survivors and you tell them that you're going to be in space as an Israeli astronaut, they look at you as a dream that they could have never dreamed of. It's very exciting for me to be able to fulfill their dream that they wouldn't dare to dream."---Ilan Ramon(Colonel, Israel Air Force) Payload Specialist


Ilan Ramon

Ilan Ramon, Colonel of the Israeli Air Force, was born on June 20th, 1954 in Tel Aviv.

Ilan Ramon grew up in Beer Sheva and was considered an outstanding student.

During the Yom Kippur War (1973) Ramon was in pilot training. In 1974, Ramon graduated as a fighter pilot from the Israel Air Force Flight School.

From 1974-1976 he participated in A-4 basic training and operations. The years 1976-1980 were spent in Mirage III-C training and operations. In 1980, as one of the IAF's establishment team of the first F-16 Squadron in Israel, he attended the F-16 Training Course at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. From 1981-1983 he served as the Deputy Squadron Commander B, F-16 Squadron; in 1981 he helped plan and took part in the Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor. He fought in the "Operation Peace for Galilee" (1982) War.

In 1987 he graduated from Tel Aviv University with a B.Sc. in electronics and computer engineering.

From 1988 he served as Deputy Squadron Commander A, F-4 Phantom Squadron. During 1990, he attended the Squadron Commanders Course. From 1990/1992, he served as Squadron Commander, F-16 Squadron. From 1992-1994, he was Head of the Aircraft Branch in Operations Requisitions Department. In 1994, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and assigned as Head of the Department of Operational Requirement for Weapon Development and Acquisitions. He stayed in this post until 1998.

Colonel Ramon accumulated over 3,000 flight hours on the A-4, Mirage III-C and F-4, and over 1,000 flight hours on the F-16.

Ramon took several special items with him into space: an Israeli flag, the Israeli Declaration of Independence, a picture from Yad Vashem, a Kiddush cup for Shabbat, a Sefer Torah smuggled out of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, a mezuzah, and a T-Shirt from the Israeli Road Safety Campaign.




"We have seen Mount Fuji and the Sahara Desert. We can see the lights of the cities, the scars of humanity.

.... The very first day, we flew over Lake Michigan and I could see Wind Point. What a thrill.

... I feel blessed to be here representing our country and carrying out the research of scientists everywhere.

.... The sky is glorious. Even the stars have a special brightness. I saw my 'friend' Orion."---Laurel Blair Salton Clark, M.D. (COMMANDER, USN) NASA ASTRONAUT


Laurel B. Clark

Laurel B. Clark Born in Iowa, but considers Racine, Wisconsin, to be her hometown. Married with one child. She enjoys scuba diving, hiking, camping, biking, parachuting, flying, traveling. Her parents reside in New Mexico.

Graduated from William Horlick High School, Racine Wisconsin in 1979; received bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983 and doctorate in medicine from the same school in 1987.

Aerospace Medical Association, Society of U.S. Naval Flight Surgeons.

Navy Commendation Medals (3); National Defense Medal, and Overseas Service Ribbon.

During medical school she did active duty training with the Diving Medicine Department at the Naval Experimental Diving Unit in March 1987. After completing medical school, Dr. Clark underwent postgraduate Medical education in Pediatrics from 1987-1988 at Naval Hospital Bethesda, Maryland.

The following year she completed Navy undersea medical officer training at the Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton Connecticut and diving medical officer training at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Florida, and was designated a Radiation Health Officer and Undersea Medical Officer. She was then assigned as the Submarine Squadron Fourteen Medical Department Head in Holy Loch Scotland.

During that assignment she dove with US Navy SEAL divers and Naval Special Warfare Unit Two Seals and performed numerous medical evacuations from US submarines. After two years of operational experience she was designated as a Naval Submarine Medical Officer and Diving Medical Officer.

She underwent 6 months of aeromedical training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Florida and was designated as a Naval Flight Surgeon. She was stationed at MCAS Yuma, Arizona and assigned as Flight Surgeon for a Marine Corps AV-8B Night Attack Harrier Squadron (VMA 211). She made numerous deployments, including one overseas to the Western Pacific, practiced medicine in austere environments, and flew on multiple aircraft.

Her squadron won the Marine Attack Squadron of the year for its successful deployment. She was then assigned as the Group Flight Surgeon for the Marine Aircraft Group (MAG 13). Prior to her selection as an astronaut candidate she served as a Flight Surgeon for the Naval Flight Officer advanced training squadron (VT-86) in Pensacola, Florida. LCDR Clark is Board Certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and holds a Wisconsin Medical License.

Her military qualifications include Radiation Health Officer, Undersea Medical Officer, Diving Medical Officer, Submarine Medical Officer, and Naval Flight Surgeon. She is a Basic Life Support Instructor, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Provider, Advanced Trauma Life Support Provider, and Hyperbaric Chamber Advisor.

Selected by NASA in April 1996, Dr. Clark reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. After completing two years of training and evaluation, she was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist.

From July 1997 to August 2000 Dr. Clark worked in the Astronaut Office Payloads/Habitability Branch. She is currently assigned to the crew of STS-107 scheduled for launch in 2003.



"From the very time I was 4 years old, when the Mercury program first got started, I was in front of the TV for every one of the launches.

And for the whole time I was growing up, for as long as I can remember, anytime anyone asked me what I wanted to be it was `I want to be an astronaut.'It's been pretty much a lifelong dream and just a thrill to be able to get to actually live it---Rick D. Husband M.S. COMMANDER (COLONEL, USAF) NASA ASTRONAUT


Rick D Husband

Rick D.Husband Born July 12, 1957, in Amarillo, Texas. Married. Two children. He enjoys singing, water and snow skiing, cycling, and spending time with his family.

Distinguished Graduate of AFROTC, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Squadron Officers School, F-4 Instructor School, and USAF Test Pilot School; Outstanding Engineering Student Award, Texas Tech University, 1980; F-4 Tactical Air Command Instructor Pilot of the Year (1987); named a 1997 Distinguished Engineer of the College of Engineering, Texas Tech University.

Military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, two NASA Group Achievement Awards for work on the X-38 Development Team and the Orbiter Upgrade Definition Team.

After graduation from Texas Tech University in May 1980, Husband was commissioned a second lieutenant in the USAF and attended pilot training at Vance Air Force Base (AFB), Oklahoma. He graduated in October 1981, and was assigned to F-4 training at Homestead AFB, Florida.

After completion of F-4 training in September 1982, Husband was assigned to Moody AFB, Georgia flying the F-4E. From September to November 1985, he attended F-4 Instructor School at Homestead AFB and was assigned as an F-4E instructor pilot and academic instructor at George AFB, California in December 1985. In December 1987, Husband was assigned to Edwards AFB, California, where he attended the USAF Test Pilot School.

Upon completion of Test Pilot School, Husband served as a test pilot flying the F-4 and all five models of the F-15. In the F-15 Combined Test Force, Husband was the program manager for the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 increased performance engine, and also served as the F-15 Aerial Demonstration Pilot.

In June 1992, Husband was assigned to the Aircraft and Armament Evaluation Establishment at Boscombe Down, England, as an exchange test pilot with the Royal Air Force. At Boscombe Down, Husband was the Tornado GR1 and GR4 Project Pilot and served as a test pilot in the Hawk, Hunter, Buccaneer, Jet Provost, Tucano, and Harvard. He has logged over 3800 hours of flight time in more than 40 different types of aircraft.

Husband was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in December 1994. He reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995 to begin a year of training and evaluation. Upon completion of training, Husband was named the Astronaut Office representative for Advanced Projects at Johnson Space Center, working on Space Shuttle Upgrades, the Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) and studies to return to the Moon and travel to Mars.

Most recently, he served as Chief of Safety for the Astronaut Office. He flew as pilot on STS-96 in 1999, and has logged 235 hours and 13 minutes in space. Husband is assigned to command the crew of STS-107 scheduled for launch in 2003.

STS-96 Discovery (May 27 to June 6, 1999) was a 10-day mission during which the crew performed the first docking with the International Space Station and delivered 4 tons of logistics and supplies in preparation for the arrival of the first crew to live on the station early next year. The mission was accomplished in 153 Earth orbits, traveling 4 million miles in 9 days, 19 hours and 13 minutes.



"It's been pretty much a lifelong dream and just a thrill to be able to get to actually live it out.

One of the biggest challenges that I'm faced with oftentimes is being able to push that excitement onto the back burner and to stay operationally focused on the tasks at hand, and that's, I'm sure, a challenge of every first-time flyer.

I've had the opportunity to be on the flight deck probably more than most of my crewmates to look outside and really soak up the sunrises and sunsets, the moonrises and moonsets, the views of the Himalayas, Australia, all the continents.--- William C. McCool M.E.(Lieutenant Commander, USN) NASA Astronaut


William C. McCool

William C. McCool Born September 23, 1961 in San Diego, California. Married. He enjoys running, mountain biking, back country hiking/camping, swimming, playing guitar, chess.

Graduated from Coronado High School, Lubbock, Texas, in 1979; received a bachelor of science degree in applied science from the US Naval Academy in 1983, a master of science degree in computer science from the University of Maryland in 1985, and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the US Naval Postgraduate School in 1992.

U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association.

Eagle Scout; graduated second of 1,083 in the Class of 1983 at the US Naval Academy; presented “Outstanding Student” and “Best DT-II Thesis” awards as graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Class 101; awarded Navy Commendation Medals (2), Navy Achievement Medals (2), and various other service awards.

McCool completed flight training in August 1986 and was assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129 at Whidbey Island, Washington, for initial EA-6B Prowler training. His first operational tour was with Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 133, where he made two deployments aboard USS CORAL SEA (CV-43) to the Mediterranean Sea, and received designation as a wing qualified landing signal officer (LSO).

In November 1989, he was selected for the Naval Postgraduate School/Test Pilot School (TPS) Cooperative Education Program. After graduating from TPS in June 1992, he worked as TA-4J and EA-6B test pilot in Flight Systems Department of Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at Patuxent River, Maryland. He was responsible for the management and conduct of a wide variety of projects, ranging from airframe fatigue life studies to numerous avionics upgrades.

His primary efforts, however, were dedicated to flight test of the Advanced Capability (ADVCAP) EA-6B. Following his Patuxent River tour, McCool returned to Whidbey Island, and was assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 132 aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65). He served as Administrative and Operations Officer with the squadron through their work-up cycle, receiving notice of NASA selection while embarked on ENTERPRISE for her final pre-deployment at-sea period.

McCool has over 2,800 hours flight experience in 24 aircraft and over 400 carrier arrestments.

Selected by NASA in April 1996, McCool reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. He completed two years of training and evaluation, and is qualified for flight assignment as a pilot.

Initially assigned to the Computer Support Branch, McCool also served as Technical Assistant to the Director of Flight Crew Operations, and worked Shuttle cockpit upgrade issues for the Astronaut Office. He is assigned as pilot on STS-107 scheduled for launch in 2003.

Background photo courtesy of STS-107 Columbia January 26, 2003
WORK IN PROGRESS