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Dr Nancy Jan Davis Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Female. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two. Birth Date: 01 November 1953. Birth City: Cocoa Beach. Birth State: Florida. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Degree: PhD. Group: 1987 NASA Group. Date Selected: 05 June 1987. Number of Flights: 3. Total Time: 28.09 days.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: N. Jan Davis (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut

Born November 1, 1953, at Cocoa Beach, Florida, but considers Huntsville Alabama, to be her hometown. Married to astronaut Mark Lee from Viroqua, Wisconsin. She enjoys flying, ice skating, snow skiing, water sports, and needlework. She is a volunteer Girl Scout troop assistant leader, and is a member of the Lakeview Quilters Guild..

Graduated from Huntsville High School in 1971; received bachelor of science degrees in applied biology from Georgia Institute of Technology and in mechanical engineering from Auburn University in 1975 and 1977, respectively; received a master of science degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from University of Alabama in Huntsville, in 1983 and 1985, respectively.

Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Member, Tau Beta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Tau Sigma, and Sigma Gamma Tau honoraries, and Alpha Xi Delta social sorority. Board Member, Ice Skating Institute of America Education Foundation, Greater Houston Skating Council, and Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

Recipient of NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1995), NASA Space Flight Medal (1992, 1994), Marshall Space Flight Center Director's Commendation (1987), NASA Fellowship for Full-Time Study (1983), ASME National Old Guard Prize (1978), and Alpha Xi Delta Woman of Distinction (1993).

After graduating from Auburn University in 1977, Dr. Davis joined Texaco in Bellaire, Texas, working as a petroleum engineer in tertiary oil recovery. She left there in 1979 to work for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center as an aerospace engineer. In 1986, she was named as team leader in the Structural Analysis Division, and her team was responsible for the structural analysis and verification of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the HST maintenance mission, and the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility. In 1987, she was also assigned to be the lead engineer for the redesign of the solid rocket booster external tank attach ring. Dr. Davis did her graduate research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, studying the long-term strength of pressure vessels due to the viscoelastic characteristics of filament-wound composites. She holds one patent, has authored several technical papers, and is a Registered Professional Engineer.

Dr. Davis became an astronaut in June 1987 and is qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on Space Shuttle flight crews. Her initial technical assignment was in the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch, where she provided technical support for Shuttle payloads. She then served as a CAPCOM in Mission Control communicating with Shuttle crews for seven missions. After her first space flight, Dr. Davis served as the Astronaut Office representative for the Remote Manipulator System (RMS), with responsibility for RMS operations, training, and payloads. After her second space flight, she served as the Chairperson of the NASA Education Working Group and as Chief for the Payloads Branch, which provided Astronaut Office support for all Shuttle and Space Station payloads. A veteran of two space flights, STS-47 in 1992 and STS-60 in 1994, Dr. Davis has logged over 389 hours in space.

Dr. Davis was a mission specialist on STS-47, Spacelab-J, the 50th Space Shuttle mission. Launched on September 12, 1992, this cooperative venture between the United States and Japan, conducted 43 experiments in life sciences and materials processing. During the eight-day mission, she was responsible for operating Spacelab and its subsystems and performing a variety of experiments. After completing 126 orbits of the Earth, STS-47 Endeavour landed at Kennedy Space Center on September 20, 1992.

Dr. Davis was also a mission specialist on STS-60, which was the second flight of Spacehab (Space Habitation Module) and the first flight of the Wake Shield Facility (WSF). Launched on February 3, 1994, this flight was the first Space Shuttle flight on which a Russian Cosmonaut was a crew member. During the eight-day mission, her prime responsibility was to maneuver the WSF on the RMS, to conduct thin film crystal growth. She also was responsible for performing scientific experiments in the Spacehab, and was trained to perform extravehicular activity (EVA), if required. The STS-60 Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Center on February 11, 1994, after completing 130 orbits of the Earth.

Dr. Davis is assigned as the payload commander for STS-85, scheduled for July 1997. On this eleven-day mission she will deploy and retrieve the CRISTA-SPAS payload, and will operate the Japanese Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) robotic arm. This flight on Discovery will also include several other scientific payloads that will conduct research on astronomy, Earth sciences, life sciences, and materials science.


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Last update 3 May 2001.
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