Patchett was selected as a payload specialist in 1978. Although he never flew, he later was an active participated in the CHASE experiment on the Spacelab 2 mission in 1985. He was head of the Solar Group at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory between 1985 and 1992 and was a member of the ESA Solar System Working Group in the mid-1980's. Bruce Patchett was one of the original proposers for the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and was part of the ESA Phase A study team for SOHO. He was responsible for SOHO’s Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer (CDS) and guided it safely from the design stage to a successful selection for SOHO in 1988. He was Principal Investigator for CDS until 1992 after which he moved into a leadership role in the commercial arm of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
His interests spread far beyond solar physics. He worked for many years on supernovae and in detector development. Bruce Patchett died after a year-long illness in 1996 and was survived by his wife, Kate, and son Joe.
Exact birth date unknown.