This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Tanner

Joseph Richard (Joe) Tanner Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two. Birth Date: 21 January 1950. Birth City: Danville. Birth State: Illinois. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1992 NASA Group. Date Selected: 31 March 1992. Number of Flights: 3. Total Time: 31.76 days. Number of EVAs: 5. Total EVA Time: 33.37 hours.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Joseph R. "Joe" Tanner
NASA Astronaut

Born January 21, 1950, in Danville, Illinois. Married Martha A. Currie. They have two children. He enjoys swimming, camping, mountaineering, and spending time with his family. His parents, Dr. Bill Tanner & Dr. Megan Tanner, reside in Danville, Illinois. Her parents, Mr. Jack A. Currie & Mrs. Ruby S. Currie, are deceased. They were residents of Atmore, Alabama.

Graduated from Danville High School, Danville, Illinois, in 1968; received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1973.

NASA Space Flight Medals. NASA Stuart M. Present Flight Achievement Award. JSC Superior Achievement Award. Outstanding Alumnus of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois. Distinguished graduate from Navy Flight Training. Captain of the Swimming Team and "Top 100 Seniors" Award at University of Illinois. Eagle Scout.

Tanner joined the Navy after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1973. He earned his Navy pilot wings in 1975 before serving as an A-7E pilot with Light Attack Squadron 94 (VA-94) aboard the U.S.S. Coral Sea. He finished his active service as an advanced jet instructor pilot with Training Squadron 4 (VT-4) in Pensacola, Florida. Joe continued flying the A-7 with the Navy Reserves while seeking a career with NASA.

Tanner started working for NASA Johnson Space Center in 1984 as an aerospace engineer and research pilot. His primary flying responsibilities involved teaching the astronaut pilots Space Shuttle landing techniques in the Shuttle Training Aircraft and instructing the pilots and mission specialists in the T-38. In addition to his flying duties, Tanner held positions as the aviation safety officer, the head of the pilot section, and the Deputy Chief of the Aircraft Operations Division (AOD). As the Deputy, he assisted the Chief of AOD in managing the activities of over 400 personnel and a fleet of 40 aircraft. He has accumulated more than 7,000 hours in military and NASA aircraft.

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in March 1992, Tanner reported to the Astronaut Office in August 1992. He completed one year of initial training and worked in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory before being assigned to his first mission. Tanner also served as part of the Astronaut Support Personnel team at the Kennedy Space Center, supporting Space Shuttle launches and landings.

Tanner flew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-66, November 3-14, 1994, performing the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-3 (ATLAS-3) mission. ATLAS-3 was the third in a series of flights to study the Earth's atmosphere composition and solar effects at several points during the Sun's 11-year cycle. The mission also carried the CRISTA-SPAS satellite that was deployed to study the chemical composition of the middle atmosphere and retrieved later in the mission. Tanner logged 262 hours and 34 minutes in space and 175 orbits of the Earth.

Tanner performed two space walks as a member of the STS-82 crew to service the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in February, 1997. The STS-82 crew of 7 launched aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on February 11 and returned to a night landing at Kennedy Space Center on February 21. During the flight the crew completed a total of 5 space walks to improve the science capability of the telescope and replace aging support equipment, restoring HST to near perfect working condition. They also repaired several unexpected areas of torn insulation on the telescope's exterior surface. The crew boosted HST's orbit by 8 nautical miles before releasing it to once again study the universe. Tanner's two space walks totaled 14 hours and 01 minutes. The flight orbited the earth 150 times covering 4.1 million miles in 9 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes.

MARCH 1997

Flight Log

Back to Index
Last update 3 May 2001.
To contact astronauts or cosmonauts.
Contact Mark Wade with any corrections or comments. Cosmonaut data by Alexander B. Zheleznyakov.

Conditions for use of drawings, pictures, or other materials from this site..
© Mark Wade, 2001 .