Astronauts with Minnesota Connections
Robert D. Cabana (Colonel, USMC) NASA Astronaut
Born January 23, 1949, in Minneapolis, Minnesota Graduated from Washburn High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1967; received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the United States Naval Academy in 1971. A veteran of four space flights, Cabana has logged over 1,010 hours in space. He served as pilot on STS-41 (October 6-10, 1990) and STS-53 (December 2-9, 1992), and was mission commander on STS-65 (July 8-23, 1994) and STS-88 (December 4-15, 1998) the first International Space Station assembly mission.
Duane G. Digger Carey (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF) NASA Astronaut
April 30, 1957 in St. Paul, Minnesota.Graduated from Highland Park High School,
St. Paul, Minnesota in 1975; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace
Engineering and Mechanics and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace
Engineering from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis in 1981 and 1982,
respectively. Carey was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April
1996. He piloted the STS-109 Columbia (March 1-12, 2002). STS-109 was the
fourth Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission.
Dale A. Gardner NASA Astronaut (former)
Born November 8, 1948 in
Fairmont, Minnesota. Grew up in Sherburn, Minnesota and Savanna, Illinois.
Graduated as Valedictorian of his class from Savanna Community High School,
Savanna, Illinois, in 1966. Received bachelor of science degree in Engineering
Physics from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in 1970. Gardner was
selected as an Astronaut Candidate by NASA in January 1978. STS-8 launched from
the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on August 30, 1983. This was the third flight
of the Orbiter Challenger and the first night launch and landing mission of the
Karen L. Nyberg (Ph.D.) NASA Astronaut Candidate
Born on October 7, 1969 in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota. Her hometown is Vining, Minnesota. Graduated from Henning Public High School, Henning, Minnesota, 1988. B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of North Dakota, 1994. M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1996. Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1998
She was selected as a mission specialist by NASA in July 2000, Dr. Nyberg reported for training in August 2000. Astronaut Candidate Training includes orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques. Following initial training, she will serve in technical assignments until assigned to a space flight.
Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper (Commander, USN) NASA Astronaut
Born February 7, 1963 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Graduated from Derham Hall High School, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1980; received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984, and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985.
Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, Stefanyshyn-Piper reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, she is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Initially assigned to astronaut support duties for launch and landing, she has also served as lead Astronaut Office Representative for Payloads and in the Astronaut Office EVA branch. Stefanyshyn-Piper is assigned to STS-115, scheduled to launch in 2003.
George D. (nickname Pinky) Nelson (Ph.D.) NASA Astronaut (former)
Born July 13, 1950, in Charles City, Iowa. Considers Willmar, Minnesota, to be his hometown. Graduated from Willmar Senior High School, Willmar, Minnesota, in 1968; received a bachelor of science degree in Physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1972 and a master of science and a doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Washington in 1974 and 1978, respectively.
Dr. Nelson was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. He flew as a scientific equipment operator in the WB 57-F earth resources aircraft; served as the Astronaut Office representative in the Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (space suit) development effort. A veteran of three space flights, Dr. Nelson served aboard STS-41C Challenger in 1984, STS-61C Columbia in 1986 and STS-26 Discovery in 1988.
STS-26 Discovery (September 29 to October 3, 1988) was the first mission flown after the Challenger accident. During the four day flight, the crew successfully deployed the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-C), and operated eleven mid-deck science experiments.
Deke Slayton (Mr.) NASA Astronaut (Deceased)
Born March 1, 1924, in Sparta, Wisconsin. Graduated from Sparta High School; received a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1949.
Mr. Slayton was named as one of the Mercury astronauts in April 1959. He was originally scheduled to pilot the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission but was relieved of this assignment due to a heart condition discovered in August 1959. Slayton became Coordinator of Astronaut Activities in September 1962 and was responsible for the operation of the astronaut office. In November 1963, he resigned his commission as an Air Force Major to assume the role of Director of Flight Crew Operations. Slayton was restored to full flight status and certified eligible for manned space flights in March 1972, following a comprehensive review of his medical status by NASAs Director of Life Sciences and the Federal Aviation Agency. Mr. Slayton made his first space flight as Apollo docking module pilot of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission, July 15-24, 1975a joint space flight culminating in the first historical meeting in space between American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts.
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Last Modified: Wednesday, 06-Nov-2002 14:59:51 CST