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Kenneth (Ken) Duane Bowersox Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two. Birth Date: 14 November 1956. Birth City: Portsmouth. Birth State: Virginia. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1987 NASA Group. Date Selected: 05 June 1987. Number of Flights: 4. Total Time: 50.54 days.

Official NASA Biography - 1997

NAME: Kenneth D. Bowersox (Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut

Born November 14, 1956, in Portsmouth, Virginia, but considers Bedford, Indiana, to be his hometown. Married to the former Ann C. Flatley of Pleasanton, California. They have two children.

Graduated from Bedford High School, Bedford, Indiana, in 1974; received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1978, and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University in 1979.

Bowersox received his commission in the United States Navy in 1978 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1981. He was then assigned to Attack Squadron 22, aboard the USS Enterprise, where he served as a Fleet A-7E pilot, logging over 300 carrier arrested landings. Following graduation from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1985, he moved to the Naval Weapon Center at China Lake, California, where he spent the next year and a half as a test pilot flying A-7E and F/A-18 aircraft until advised of his selection to the astronaut program. He has logged over 4,000 hours flight time.

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in June 1987, Bowersox completed a one-year training and evaluation program in August 1988. He has held a variety of assignments since then including: flight software testing in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); Technical Assistant to the Director of Flight Crew Operations; Astronaut Office representative for Orbiter landing and rollout issues; Chief of the Astronaut Office Safety Branch; Chairman of the Spaceflight Safety Panel; during several Shuttle missions he served as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in the Houston Mission Control Center. A four flight veteran, Bowersox has logged over 50 days in space. He flew as pilot on STS-50 in 1992 and STS-61 in 1993, and was the spacecraft commander on STS-73 in 1995 and STS-82 in 1997.

STS-50, June 25-July 9, 1992, was the first flight of the United States Microgravity Laboratory and the first Extended Duration Orbiter flight. Over a two-week period, the STS-50 flight crew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia conducted a wide variety of experiments relating to materials processing and fluid physics in a microgravity environment. This was the longest Shuttle flight on record, allowing him to log over 331 hours in space.

STS-61, December 2-13, 1993, was the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing and repair mission. During the 11-day flight, the HST was captured and restored to full capacity through a record five space walks by four astronauts. After having traveled 4,433,772 miles in 163 orbits of the Earth, the Space Shuttle Endeavour and her crew returned to a night landing on the runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

STS-73, Oct. 20 to Nov. 5, 1995, was the second flight of the United States Microgravity Laboratory. The mission focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, the physics of fluids, and numerous scientific experiments housed in the pressurized Spacelab module. In completing his third space flight, Bowersox and his crew orbited the Earth 256 times, traveled over 6 million miles, and logged a total of 15 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds in aboard Space Shuttle Columbia.

STS-82, Feb. 11-21, 1997, was the second Hubble Space Telescope (HST) maintenance mission. During the flight, the crew retrieved and secured the HST in Discovery's payload bay. In five space walks, two teams installed two new spectrometers and eight replacement instruments, as well as replacing insulation patches over three compartments containing key data processing, electronics and scientific instrument telemetry packages. Following completion of upgrades and repairs, HST was boosted to a higher orbit and redeployed. Mission duration was 9 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes, traveling 3.8 million miles in 149 Earth orbits.


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Last update 3 May 2001.
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