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Dr Norman Earl (Norm) Thagard Status: Inactive. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Three. Birth Date: 03 July 1943. Birth City: Marianna. Birth State: Florida. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Degree: MD. Group: 1978 NASA Group. Date Selected: 16 January 1978. Departed: 1996. Number of Flights: 5. Total Time: 140.56 days.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Norman E. Thagard (M.D.)
NASA Astronaut

Born July 3, 1943, in Marianna, Florida, but considers Jacksonville, Florida, to be his hometown. Married to the former Rex Kirby Johnson of South Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. They have three sons. During his free time, he enjoys classical music, and electronic design. Dr. Thagard has published articles on digital and analog electronic design. His father, Mr. James E. Thagard, is deceased; his mother, Mrs. Mary F. Nicholson, is a resident of St. Peterburg, Florida. Her mother, Mrs. Rex Johnson, resides in Tallahassee, Florida.

Graduated from Paxon Senior High School, Jacksonville, Florida, in 1961; attended Florida State University where he received bachelor and master of science degrees in engineering science in 1965 and 1966, respectively, and subsequently performed pre-med course work; received a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1977.

Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Aerospace Medical Association, and Phi Kappa Phi.

Awarded 11 Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", the Marine Corps "E" Award, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

Dr. Thagard held a number of research and teaching posts while completing the academic requirements for various earned degrees.

In September 1966, he entered active duty with the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He achieved the rank of Captain in 1967, was designated a naval aviator in 1968, and was subsequently assigned to duty flying F-4s with VMFA-333 at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina. He flew 163 combat missions in Vietnam while assigned to VMFA-115 from January 1969 to 1970. He returned to the United States and an assignment as aviation weapons division officer with VMFA-251 at the Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina.

Thagard resumed his academic studies in 1971, pursuing additional studies in electrical engineering, and a degree in medicine; prior to coming to NASA, he was interning in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a licensed physician.

He is a pilot and has logged over 2,200 hours flying time--the majority in jet aircraft.

Dr. Thagard was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, he completed a one-year training and evaluation period, making him eligible for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flights. A veteran of five space flights, he has logged over 140 days in space. He was a mission specialist on on STS-7 in 1983, STS 51-B in 1985, STS-30 in 1989, was the payload commander on STS-42 in 1992, and was
Flight Log

  • STS-7 - - 1983 Jun 18 - Assignment: Prime Crew. Flight Time: 6.10 days. Flight details: STS-7.

    Manned five crew. Deployed Anik C2, Palapa B1; deployed and retrieved SPAS platform. Payloads: Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (OSTA)-2 experiments, deployment of PALAPA-B1 communications satellite for Indonesia with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D and Telesat-F communications satellite for Canada with PAM-D, German Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS)-01, seven getaway specials (GAS), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES).

  • STS-51-B - - 1985 Apr 29 - Assignment: Prime Crew. Flight Time: 7.01 days. Flight details: STS-51-B.

    Manned seven crew. Deployed Nusat; carried Spacelab 3. Payloads: Spacelab-3 experiments, habitable Spacelab and mission peculiar experiment support structure. The experiments represented a total of five different disciplines: materials processing in space, environmental observa-tions, life science, astrophysics, and technology experiments. Two getaway specials (GAS). The flight crew was split into gold and silver shifts working 12-hour days during the flight.

  • STS-61-G - - 1986 May - Assignment: Proposed Prime Crew.

    Planned shuttle mission for deployment of Galileo spacecraft. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.

  • STS-30 - - 1989 May 4 - Assignment: Prime Crew. Flight Time: 4.04 days. Flight details: STS-30.

    Manned five crew. Deployed Magellan Venus probe. Payloads: Deploy IUS with Magellan spacecraft. Fluids Experiment Apparatus (FEA). Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

  • STS-42 - - 1992 Jan 22 - Assignment: Prime Crew. Flight Time: 8.05 days. Flight details: STS-42.

    Manned seven crew. Carried International Microgravity Laboratory-1. Payloads: International Microgravity Laboratory (lML)-1, getaway special (GAS) bridge with 10 getaway specials, IMAX camera, Gelation of Sols: Applied Microgravity Research (GOSAMR)-1, Investigations Into Polymer Mem-brane Processing (IPMP), Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME)-lll, Student Experiment 81-09: Convection in Zero Gravity, Student Experiment 83-02: Capillary Rise of Liquid Through Granular Porous Media.

  • Soyuz TM-21 - - 1995 Mar 14 - Assignment: Prime Crew. Flight Time: 115.36 days. Flight details: Soyuz TM-21.

    Mir Expedition EO-18. Soyuz TM-21 carried the EO-18 Mir crew and American Norman Thagard. Thagard was the first American to be launched in a Soyuz. Soyuz docked with Mir at 07:45:26 GMT on March 16 . On July 4 Soyuz TM-21 undocked and backed off to a distance of 100 m from Mir. The US space shuttle Atlantis, with the EO-18 crew aboard, then undocked and began a flyaround at a distance of 210 m, while the EO-19 crew aboard Soyuz took pictures before redocking with the station. Soyuz TM-21 again undocked with the EO-19 crew on September 11 from the Kvant rear port on Mir and landed at 50 deg 41'N 68 deg 15'E, 108 km northeast of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan, at 06:52:40 GMT .

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Last update 3 May 2001.
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