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Ronald John (Ron) Grabe Status: Inactive. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two. Birth Date: 13 June 1945. Birth City: New York. Birth State: New York. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1980 NASA Group. Date Selected: 19 May 1980. Departed: 1994. Number of Flights: 4. Total Time: 26.15 days.

Official NASA Biography

NAME: Ronald J. Grabe (Colonel, USAF)

NASA Astronaut

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born June 13, 1945, in New York, New York. His mother, Mrs. Martha Grabe, resides in Lakewood, New Jersey.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; hazel eyes; 6 feet; 185 pounds.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Stuyvesant High School, New York, New York, in 1962; received a bachelor of science degree in Engineering Science from the United States Air Force Academy in 1966; studied aeronautics as a Fulbright Scholar at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, West Germany, in 1967.

MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Marijo A. Landon. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jack N. Landon, reside in Clovis, New Mexico.

CHILDREN: Hilary, December 25, 1974; and Alison, March 9, 1979.

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys skiing, wind surfing, and racquet sports.

SPECIAL HONORS: The Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Liethen-Tittle Award (for Outstanding Student at the USAF Test Pilot School), the Royal Air Force Cross, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and NASA Space Flight Medals.

EXPERIENCE: Upon graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1966, Grabe went to Darmstadt, West Germany, as a Fulbright Scholar. He returned to the United States in 1967, to complete pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He subsequently flew F-100 aircraft with the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, and in 1969 was assigned as an F-100 pilot with the 3d Tactical Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam where he flew 200 combat missions. In 1970, he was reassigned to the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base to fly F-100 and F-111 aircraft. He participated in the operational test and evaluation of the weapons system of the F-111D aircraft. Grabe attended the USAF Test Pilot School in 1974 and, upon graduating in 1975, was assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center as a test pilot for the A-7 and F-111. He was the program manager and chief project pilot for the Air Force's digital flight control system for tactical fighters (DIGITAC) evaluation. He later served as an exchange test pilot with the Royal Air Force at Boscombe Down, United Kingdom, from 1976 to 1979. During this tour of duty, he served as the chief project pilot for the Royal Air Force Harrier and the Royal Navy Sea Harrier. He was an instructor at the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, when advised of his selection by NASA.

He has logged more than 5,500 hours flying time.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Grabe became a NASA astronaut in August 1981. He served as chief verification pilot for STS-3 and STS-4 entry guidance, navigation and control simulation testing, as the Deputy Manager for Operations Integration, Space Shuttle Program Office, and subsequently as the Chief of Training within the Astronaut Office.

Grabe was pilot for STS 51-J, the second Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 3, 1985. This was the maiden voyage of the Atlantis, the final Orbiter in the Shuttle fleet. After 98 hours of orbital operations, Atlantis landed on Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 7, 1985.

On his second mission, Grabe was pilot for STS-30, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on May 4, 1989. On board the Orbiter Atlantis during this four day mission, crew members successfully deployed the Magellan Venus-exploration spacecraft, the first U.S. planetary science mission launched since 1978, and the first planetary probe to be deployed from the Shuttle. Magellan arrived at Venus in mid-1990, and using specialized radar instruments mapped the surface of Venus. In addition, crew members also worked on secondary payloads involving fluid research in general, chemistry and electrical storm studies. Following 64 orbits of the earth, the STS-30 mission concluded a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California on May 8, 1989.

More recently, Grabe was commander of the seven person STS-42 crew, aboard the Shuttle Discovery, which lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on January 22, 1992. Fifty five major experiments conducted in the International Microgravity Laboratory-1 module were provided by investigators from eleven countries, and represented a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines. During 128 orbits of the Earth, the STS-42 crew accomplished the mission's primary objective of investigating the effects of microgravity on materials processing and life sciences. In this unique laboratory in space, crew members worked around-the-clock in two shifts. Experiments investigated the microgravity effects on the growth of protein and semiconductor crystals. Biological experiments on the effects of zero gravity on plants, tissues, bacteria, insects and human vestibular response were also conducted. This eight-day mission culminated in a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on January 30, 1992.

With the completion of his third mission, he has logged over of 387 hours in space.

CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Colonel Grabe will command the crew of STS-57, which will carry the commercial middeck augmentation module called SPACEHAB, and will also retrieve the European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA). STS-57 is scheduled for launch in mid-1993.

APRIL 1992

Flight Log

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