He has over 3,500 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft, and has over 270 carrier landings.
On his first flight, Thuot was a mission specialist on the crew of STS-36 which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on February 28, 1990, aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. This mission carried Department of Defense payloads and a number of secondary payloads. Following 72 orbits of the Earth in 106 hours, the STS-36 mission concluded with a lakebed landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on March 4, 1990, after traveling 1.87 million miles.
Thuot was a mission specialist on the crew of STS-49, the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center on May 7, 1992. During that mission, Thuot, along with astronaut Rick Hieb, performed three space walks which resulted in the capture and repair of the stranded Intelsat VI F3 communications satellite. The third space walk, which also included astronaut Tom Akers, was the first ever three-person space walk. This 8 hour and 29 minute space walk, the longest in history, broke a twenty year old record that was held by Apollo 17 astronauts. The mission concluded on May 16, 1992 with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base after orbiting the Earth 141 times in 213 hours and traveling 3.7 million miles.
On March 4, 1994, Thuot launched aboard Columbia on STS-62, a microgravity science and technology demonstration mission which carried the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-2) and the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST-2) payloads. More than sixty experiments or investigations were conducted in many scientific and engineering disciplines including materials science, human physiology, biotechnology, protein crystal growth, robotics, structural dynamics, atmospheric ozone monitoring, and spacecraft glow. During the spacecraft glow investigation, Columbia's orbital altitude was lowered to 105 nautical miles, the lowest ever flown by a Space Shuttle. STS-62, one of the longest Space Shuttle missions, concluded on March 18, 1994 with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center after orbiting the Earth 224 times in 13 days, 23 hours, and 16 minutes and traveling 5.8 million miles.
With the completion of his third mission, Thuot has logged over 654 hours in space, including over 17.7 hours on three space walks.
Thuot left NASA in June 1995, and returned to the Navy. He is an Associate Chairman in the Aerospace Engineering Department, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.
Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 368 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 494.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,407.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission - Record altitude (through 5/93).
Retrieved Intelsat 6 and attached new SRM. First active dual rendezvous of two orbiting spacecraft (Endeavour and Intelsat-Vl) First deployment of a drag chute on the orbiter fleet. Payloads: Intelsat-Vl reboost mission hardware, Assembly of Station by EVA Methods (ASEM), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPl).
Attempted capture of Intelsat V1.
Second attempted capture of Intelsat V1.
Intelsat V1 finally captured in first three-person spacewalk.
Carried USMP-2, OAST-2, SAMPIE, TES, EISG. Payloads: United States Microgravity Payload (USMP) 2, Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) 2, Dexterous End Effector (DEE), Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet/A (SSBUV/A), Limited-Duration Space Environment Candidate Material Exposure (LDCE), Advanced Protein Crystal Growth (APCG), Physiological Systems Experiment (PSE), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA), Auroral Photography Experiment Phase B (APE-B), Middeck Zero-Gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Bioreactor Demonstration System A.