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Paul Willam Richards Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two. Birth Date: 20 May 1964. Birth City: Scranton. Birth State: Pennsylvania. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1996 NASA Group. Date Selected: 01 May 1996.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Paul William Richards
NASA Astronaut Candidate (Mission Specialist)

Born May 20, 1964 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His hometown is Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Enjoys cycling, golf, sailing, snow skiing, cooking, and home repair/improvement. Married to the former Susan Geiger Palmer, of Flourtown, Pennsylvania. They have two children. His parents are Angela Cordaro Richards and the late James J. Richards. Her parents are Samuel and Joan Geiger of Erdenheim, Pennsylvania.

Graduated from Dunmore High School, Dunmore, Pennsylvania, in 1982; received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in 1987 and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1991.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Society of Naval Engineers, United States Naval Reserves.

Silver Snoopy Award (1994). NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (1994). Goddard Honor Awards; Group Achievement Award (1994). HST First Servicing Mission Extravehicular Activity Team. HST First Servicing Mission Crew Aids and Tools Development Team. NASA Manned Flight Awareness Award (1994). NASA Outstanding Performance Award (1993).

Department of the Navy, Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station, 1983-1987. Transferred to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in 1987. Worked in the Verification Office, Electromechanical Branch, Robotics Branch, Guidance and Controls Branch, all within the Engineering Directorate. Senior EVA Tool Development Engineer for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing Project. Lead Engineer for GSFC HST EVA crew aids and tools. Responsibilities included the design, analysis, fabrication, test, and integration for breadboard, WETF/NBS, engineering, and flight hardware, and the financial tracking, documentation, and review process for these tools. Additional duties included engineering support for the HST WETF/NBS Servicing Mission Simulations as a utility diver and EMU suited subject.

Selected by NASA in April 1996, Richards reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin two years of training and evaluation. Successful completion of initial training will qualify him for various technical assignments leading to selection as a mission specialist on a Space Shuttle flight crew.

JUNE 1997

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