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Dr Bonnie Jeanne Dunbar Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Female. Marital Status: Married. Birth Date: 03 March 1949. Birth City: Sunnyside. Birth State: Washington. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Degree: PhD. Group: 1980 NASA Group. Date Selected: 19 May 1980. Number of Flights: 5. Total Time: 50.35 days.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Bonnie J. Dunbar (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut

Born March 3, 1949, in Sunnyside, Washington.

Graduated from Sunnyside High School, Sunnyside, Washington, in 1967; received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in ceramic engineering from the University of Washington in 1971 and 1975, respectively; and a doctorate in Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering from the University of Houston, 1983.

Member of the American Ceramic Society (ACS), the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers (NICE), Keramos Honorary, the Society of Biomedical Engineering, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Tau Beta Pi, Materials Research Society (MRS); Board of Directors, Arnold Air Society and Angel Flight, International Academy of Astronautics (IAF), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Association of Space Explorers (ASE).

NASA Space Flight Medals, 1985, 1990, 1992, and 1995. Member, National Scicence Foundation (NSF) Engineering Advisory Board, 1993 - present. NASA Outstanding Leadership Award, 1993. Fellow of American Ceramic Society, 1993. Design News Engineering Achievement Award, 1993. IEEE Judith Resnick Award, 1993. Society of Women Engineers Resnick Challenger Medal, 1993. Boeing Corporation Pathfinder Award, 1992. AAES National Engineering Award, 1992. NASA Exceptional Service Award, 1991. University of Houston Distinguished Engineering Alumna, 1991. M.R.S. President's Award, 1990. ACS Schwaltzwalder P.A.C.E. Award, 1990. University of Washington Engineering Alumni Achievement, 1989. NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 1988. ACS Life Membership, 1986. General Jimmy Doolittle Fellow of the Aerospace Education Foundation, 1986. Evergreen Safety Council Public Service in Space Award, 1986. American Ceramic Society (ACS) Greaves-Walker Award, 1985. Rockwell International Engineer of the Year in 1978. Graduated Cum Laude from the University of Washington in 1975.

Following graduation in 1971, Dr. Dunbar worked for Boeing Computer Services for two years as a systems analyst. From 1973 to 1975, she conducted research for her master's thesis in the field of mechanisms and kinetics of ionic diffusion in sodium beta-alumina. In 1975, she was invited to participate in research at Harwell Laboratories in Oxford, England, as a visiting scientist. Her work there involved the wetting behavior of liquids on solid substrates. Following her work in England, she accepted a senior research engineer position with Rockwell International Space Division in Downey, California. Her responsibilities there included developing equipment and processes for the manufacture of the Space Shuttle thermal protection system in Palmdale, California. She also represented Rockwell International as a member of the Dr. Kraft Ehricke evaluation committee on prospective space industrialization concepts. Dr. Dunbar completed her doctorate at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. Her multi-disciplinary dissertation (materials science and physiology) involved evaluating the effects of simulated space flight on bone strength and fracture toughness. These results were correlated to alterations in hormonal and metabolic activity. She is currently an adjunct assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston.

She is a private pilot with over 200 hours in single engine land aircraft, has logged more than 700 hours flying time in T-38 jets as co-pilot, and has over 100 hours as co-pilot in a Cessna Citation Jet.

Dr. Dunbar accepted a position as a payload officer/flight controller at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1978. She served as a guidance and navigation officer/flight controller for the Skylab reentry mission in 1979 and was subsequently designated project officer/payload officer for the integration of several Space Shuttle payloads.

Dr. Dunbar became a NASA astronaut in August 1981. Her technical assignments have included assisting in the verification of Shuttle flight software at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL), serving as a member of the Flight Crew Equipment Control Board, participation as a member of the Astronaut Office Science Support Group, supporting operational development of the remote manipulator system (RMS). She has served as chief of the Mission Development Branch, as the Astronaut Office interface for "secondary" payloads, and as lead for the Science Support Group. In 1993 Dr. Dunbar served as Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. In February 1994, she traveled to Star City, Russia, where she spent 13-months training as a back-up crew member for a 3-month flight on the Russian Space Station, Mir. In March 1995, she was certified by the Russian Gagarin Cosomonaut Training Center as qualified to fly on long duration Mir Space Station flights. From October, 1995 to November, 1996, she was detailed to the NASA JSC Mission Operations Directorate as Assistant Director where she was responsible for chairing the International Space Station Training Readiness Reviews, and facilitating Russian/American operations and training strategies.

A veteran of four space flights, Dr. Dunbar has logged more than 996 hours (41.5 days) in space. She was a mission specialist on STS 61-A in 1985, STS-32 in 1990, was the Payload Commander on STS-50 in 1992, and was a mission specialist on STS-71 in 1995.

STS 61-A, the West German D-1 Spacelab mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 30, 1985. The 61-A mission was the first to carry eight crew members, the largest to fly in space, and was also the first in which payload activities were controlled from outside the United States. More than 75 scientific experiments were completed in the areas of physiological sciences, materials science, biology, and navigation. During the seven-day mission, Dr. Dunbar was responsible for operating Spacelab and its subsystems and performing a variety of experiments. Her mission training included six months of experiment training in Germany, France, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. After completing 111 orbits of the Earth in 168 hours 44 minutes 51 seconds, Challenger and her crew landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on November 6, 1985.

STS-32 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on January 9, 1990. During the ten-day mission, crew members aboard Columbia successfully deployed the Syncom IV-F5 satellite, and retrieved the 21,400-pound Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) using the RMS. They also operated a variety of middeck experiments including the Microgravity Disturbance Experiment (MDE) using the Fluids Experiment Apparatus (FEA), Protein Crystal Growth (PCG), American Flight Echocardiograph (AFE), Latitude/Longitude Locator (L3), Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE), Characterization of Neurospora Circadian Rhythms (CNCR),and the IMAX Camera. Dr. Dunbar was principal investigator for the MDE/FEA Experiment. Additionally, numerous medical test objectives, including in-flight lower body negative pressure (LBNP), in-flight aerobic exercise and muscle performance were conducted to evaluate human adaptation to extended duration missions. Following 173 orbits of the Earth in 261 hours 1 minute 38 seconds, Columbia returned with a night landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on January 20, 1990.

Dr. Dunbar flew as Payload Commander on STS-50, the United States Microgravity Lab-1 mission dedicated to microgravity fluid physics and materials science. Over 30 experiments sponsored by over 100 investigators were housed in the "Spacelab" in the Shuttle's Payload Bay. A payload crew of 4 operated around-the-clock for 13 days performing experiments in scientific disciplines such as protein crystal growth, electronic and infrared detector crystal growth, surface tension physics, zeolite crystal growth, and human physiology. STS-50 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 25, 1992, and concluded with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center on July 9, 1992, following 221 orbits of the Earth in 331 hours 30 minutes 4 seconds.

On STS-71 Dr. Dunbar served as MS-3 on a seven-member crew launched June 27, 1995, from the Kennedy Space Center and as a member of an eight-member crew which returned there on July 7, 1995. This was the first Space Shuttle mission to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir, and involved an exchange of crews. The Atlantis Space Shuttle was modified to carry a docking system compatible with the Russian Mir Space Station. It also carried a Spacelab module in the payload bay in which the crew performed medical evaluations on the returning Mir crew. These evaluations included ascertaining the effects of weightlessness on the cardio/vascular system, the bone /muscle system, the immune system, and the cardio/pulmonary system. Mission duration was 235 hours, 23 minutes


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