He has logged approximately 2,000 flight hours in various fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.
Most recently, he served as a mission specialist on STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997), NASA's sixth Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. During this 9-day mission the crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis also conducted a number of secondary experiments, and transferred nearly 4 tons of supplies and experiment equipment between Atlantis and the Mir station. During the STS-84 he logged a total of 221 hours and 20 minutes in space traveling 3.6 million miles in 144 orbits of the Earth.
Atlantis blasted off on a night launch to Mir, docking with the station on May 17 at 02:33 GMT. Jerry Linenger, who had begun his stay on Mir in mid-January aboard STS-81, would return aboard STS-84. Michael Foale would be left at the station for his stint as the American crew member of Mir. The crew transfered to Mir 466 kg of water, 383 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,251 kg of Russian equipment and supplies, and 178 kg of miscellaneous material. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 406 kg of U.S. science material, 531 kg of Russian logistics material, 14 kg of ESA material and 171 kg of miscellaneous material. Atlantis undocked from Mir at 01:04 GMT on May 22. After passing up its first landing opportunity due to clouds over the landing site, the Shuttle fired its OMS engines on the deorbit burn at 12:33 GMT on May 24. Atlantis landed at 13:27 GMT at Kennedy Space Center's runway 33.
Endeavour was launched on an assembly mission to the to the International Space Station. The external tank and the Orbiter entered a 74 x 325 km orbit at 0314 GMT. Endeavour's OMS burn raised its perigee to 205 km at around 0347 GMT; the ET re-entered over the Pacific. Endeavour docked with the Station's PMA-3 docking port at 1959 GMT on December 2. Astronauts then installed the P6 solar panel truss to the station during a series of spacewalks. The P6 was made up of the LS (Long Spacer), PV-1 IEA (Integrated Equipment Assembly) and the PVAA (Photovoltaic Array). The LS carried two Thermal Control Systems with radiators to eject waste heat from the Station; these radiators were to be moved to truss segments S4 and S6 later in assembly. The PVAA had solar array wings SAW-2B and SAW-4B, which deployed to a span of 73 meters. Only after completion of three station assembly space walks on December 3, 5, and 7 did the Endeavour crew enter the station (at 1436 GMT on December 8), delivering supplies to Alpha's Expedition One crew. Hatches were closed again at 1551 GMT December 9, and Endeavour undocked at 1913 GMT the same day. After one flyaround of the station, Endeavour fired its engines to depart the vicinity at 2017 GMT December 9. The deorbit burn was at 2158 GMT on December 11, changing the orbit from 351 x 365 km to 27 x 365 km, with landing at Runway 15 of Kennedy Space Center at 2303 GMT.
The payload bay of Endeavour for STS-97 contained a total cargo of 18740 kg:
The first STS-97 spacewalk began with airlock depress and hatch open at 1831 GMT on December 3. The suits went to battery power at 1835 GMT and Joe Tanner and Carlos Noriega left the airlock around 1845 GMT. Around 1932 GMT the RMS arm berthed P6 on the Z1 truss, and the astronauts manually latched it in place by 1940 GMT. There were some problems releasing latches on the solar array wings, but the first solar array began to deploy at 0123 GMT on December 4. This was the "starboard" (+X) array, wing SAW-2B. The port (-X) array, SAW-4B, was left undeployed. The astronauts closed the hatch at 0202 GMT on Dec 4 and repressurized at 0209 GMT. The P6 PVR radiator was deployed on the +Y side of the IEA at 0414 GMT on December 4. The SAW-4B wing was deployed starting at 0052 GMT on December 5.
The spacewalk began on December 5 with depress at 1718 GMT, hatch open around 1719 GMT and battery power at 1721 GMT. Repress was at 2358 GMT. The astronauts connected up P6 to the station, inspected the tension wires on wing 2B, and relocated the S-band antenna to the top of P6. They unlatched the aft TCS radiator, which was deployed sometime early on December 6.
Astronauts Noriega and Tanner on December 7 performed EVA-3 to fix the tension in the SAW-2B solar array on the Station. Airlock depress was at 1609 GMT, hatch open at 1610 GMT and battery power at 1613 GMT. The astronauts left the airlock a few minutes later, probably about 1620 GMT. After fixing the solar array they installed the FPPU device to measure plasma conditions near the top of P6 and performed a few other minor tasks. They returned to the airlock at around 2110 GMT, closing the hatch at 2119 and repressurizing at 2122.