This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Bursch

Daniel (Dan) Wheeler Bursch Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Three. Birth Date: 25 July 1957. Birth City: Bristol. Birth State: Pennsylvania. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1990 NASA Group. Date Selected: 17 January 1990. Number of Flights: 3. Total Time: 31.11 days.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Daniel W. Bursch (Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut

Born July 25, 1957, in Bristol, Pennsylvania, but considers Vestal, New York, to be his hometown. Married to the former Roni J. Patterson of Modesto, California. Three children. He enjoys tennis, softball, windsurfing, skiing, and woodworking. His parents, Dudley and Betsy Bursch, reside in Stuart, Florida. Her mother, Gayle Hutcheson, resides in Nassau Bay, Texas. Her father, Jack Patterson, resides in Truckee, California

Graduated from Vestal Senior High School, Vestal, New York, in 1975; received a bachelor of science degree in physics from the United States Naval Academy in 1979, and a master of science degree in engineering science from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1991.

Member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Association of Naval Aviation and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, NASA Space Flight Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal. Distinguished graduate, U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

Bursch graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1979, and was designated a naval flight officer in April 1980 at Pensacola, Florida. After initial training as an A-6E Intruder bombardier/navigator (B/N), he reported to Attack Squadron 34 in January 1981, and deployed to the Mediterranean aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, and to the North Atlantic and Indian Oceans aboard the USS America. He attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in January 1984. Upon graduation in December he worked as a project test flight officer flying the A-6 Intruder until August 1984, when he returned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School as a flight instructor. In April 1987, Bursch was assigned to the Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 1, as Strike Operations Officer, making deployments to the Indian Ocean aboard the USS Long Beach and the USS Midway. Redesignated an Aeronautical Engineering Duty officer (AEDO), he attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, from July 1989 until his selection to the astronaut program.

He has over 2,500 flight hours in more than 35 different aircraft, and has over 200 carrier landings.

Selected by NASA in January 1990, Bursch became an astronaut in July 1991. His technical assignments to date include: Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch, working on controls and displays for the Space Shuttle and Space Station; Chief of Astronaut Appearances; spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in mission control. A veteran of three space flights, Bursch has logged over 746 hours in space. He served as a mission specialist on STS-51 in 1993, STS-68 in 1994 and STS-77 in 1996.

STS-51 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on September 12, 1993. During the ten-day mission the crew of five aboard the Shuttle Discovery deployed the U.S. Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), and the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS) with NASA and German scientific experiments aboard. Following a spacewalk by two crew members to evaluate Hubble Space Telescope repair tools, the crew initiated rendezvous burns and Bursch recovered the SPAS using the Remote Manipulator System (RMS). The mission concluded on September 22, 1993, with the first night landing at the Kennedy Space Center. Mission duration was 236 hours and 11 minutes.

STS-68, Space Radar Lab-2 (SRL-2), launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on September 30, 1994. As part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, SRL-2 was the second flight of three advanced radars called SIR-C/X-SAR (Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar), and a carbon-monoxide pollution sensor, MAPS (Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites). SIR-C/X-SAR and MAPS operated together in Endeavour's cargo bay to study Earth's surface and atmosphere, creating radar images of Earth's surface environment and mapping global production and transport of carbon monoxide pollution. Real-time crew observations of environmental conditions, along with over 14,000 photographs aided the science team in interpreting the SRL data. The SRL-2 mission was a highly successful test of technology intended for long-term environmental and geological monitoring of planet Earth. Following 183 orbits of the Earth, the eleven-day mission ended with Space Shuttle Endeavour landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 11, 1994. Mission duration was 269 hours and 46 minutes.

STS-77 launched from the Kennedy Space Center on May 19, 1996. It included the fourth Spacehab module flight as a scientific laboratory, designated SPACEHAB-4. It consisted of 12 separate materials processing, fluid physics and biotechnology experiments, with an emphasis on commercial space product development. STS-77 completed a record four rendezvous in support of two satellites sponsored by the Goddard Space Flight Center, and the SPARTAN 207/Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE) and the Passive Aerodynamically-stabilized Magnetically-damped Satellite/Satellite Test Unit (PAMS/STU). Following 160 orbits of the Earth, the ten-day mission ended with Space Shuttle Endeavour landing at the Kennedy Space Center on May 29, 1996. Mission duration was 240 hours and 39 minutes.

Bursch is assigned as a crew representative to the International Space Station.
MARCH 1997

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