Ross has flown in 21 different types of aircraft, holds a private pilot's license, and has logged over 2,800 flying hours, the majority in military aircraft.
Ross was selected as an astronaut in May 1980. His technical assignments since then have included: EVA, RMS, and chase team; support crewman for STS 41-B, 41-C and 51-A; spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) during STS 41-B, 41-C, 41-D, 51-A and 51-D; Chief of the Mission Support Branch; member of the 1990 Astronaut Selection Board; and Acting Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. A veteran of five space flights, Ross has logged 850 hours in space, including nearly 23 hours on four spacewalks.
Ross was a mission specialist on the crew of STS 61-B which launched at night from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 26, 1985. During the mission the crew deployed the MORELOS-B, AUSSAT II, and SATCOM Ku-2 communications satellites, conducted two 6-hour space walks to demonstrate Space Station construction techniques with the EASE/ACCESS experiments, and operated numerous other experiments. After completing 108 orbits of the Earth in 165 hours, STS 61-B Atlantis landed on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 3, 1985.
Ross then flew as a mission specialist on the crew of STS-27, on board the Orbiter Atlantis, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 2, 1988. The mission carried a Department of Defense payload, as well as a number of secondary payloads. After 68 orbits of the earth in 105 hours, the mission concluded with a dry lakebed landing on Runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 6, 1988.
Ross flew as a mission specialist on STS-37 aboard the Orbiter Atlantis. The mission launched from KSC on April 5, 1991, and deployed the 35,000 pound Gamma Ray Observatory. Ross performed two space walks totaling 10 hours and 49 minutes to manually deploy the stuck Gamma Ray Observatory antenna and to test prototype Space Station Freedom hardware. After 93 orbits of the Earth in 144 hours, the mission concluded with a landing on Runway 33, at Edwards Air Force Base, on April 11, 1991.
From April 26, 1993 through May 6, 1993, Ross flew as Payload Commander/Mission Specialist on STS-55 aboard the Orbiter Columbia. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 22, after 160 orbits of the Earth in 240 hours. Nearly 90 experiments were conducted during the German-sponsored Spacelab D-2 mission to investigate life sciences, material sciences, physics, robotics, astronomy, and the Earth and its atmosphere.
Most recently, Ross was a mission specialist on STS-74, NASA's second Space Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. STS-74 launched on November 12, 1995, and landed at Kennedy Space Center on November 20, 1995. During the 8 day flight the crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis attached a permanent docking module to Mir, conducted a number of secondary experiments, and transferred 1-1/2 tons of supplies and experiment equipment between Atlantis and the Mir station. The STS-74 mission was accomplished in 129 orbits of the Earth, traveling 3.4 million miles in 196 hours, 30 minutes, 44 seconds.
Manned seven crew. Deployed Morelos 2, Aussat 2, Satcom K2, OEX. Payloads: Deploy SATCOM (RCA-Satellite Communi-cations) Ku-2 with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D II. Deploy Morelos (Mexico communications satellite)-B with PAM-D. Deploy AUSSAT (Australian communications satellite)-2 with PAM-D. EASE/ACCESS (Assembly of Structures— Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures) by extravehicular activity (EVA) astronauts, Continuous Flow Electrophore-sis System (CFES), Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS), IMAX camera, one getaway special (GAS), Linhof camera and Hasseblad camera.
Began EASE/ACCESS (Assembly of Structures / Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures) structural assembly experiments.
Completed EASE/ACCESS (Assembly of Structures / Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures) structural assembly experiments.
Planned Department of Defense shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. Would have been first launch from the ill-fated SLC-6 launch site at Vandenberg, California.
Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Orbits of Earth: 68. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 359 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 447.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,171.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission.
Manned five crew. Unscheduled EVA to manually deploy the Gamma-Ray Observatory's high-gain antenna, which failed to deploy upon ground command. Payloads: Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO), Crew/ Equipment Translation Aids (part of Extravehicular Activity Development Flight Experiment), Ascent Particle Monitor (APM), Bioserve Instrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus (BlMDA), Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)-Block Il, Space Station Heatpipe Advanced Radiator Element (SHARE)-ll, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX)-ll, Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME)-lIl, Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test.
Manually deployed Gamma-Ray Observatory's high-gain antenna.
Tested CETA (Crew / Equipment Translation Aids - rail with cart for moving astronauts around exterior of International Space Station).
Manned seven crew. Carried German Spacelab-D2. Payloads: Spacelab D-2 with long module, unique support structure (USS), and Reaction Kinetics in Glass Melts (RKGM) getaway special, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II.
Rendezvoused and docked with Mir space station on November 15. Delivered the Russian-built 316GK Shuttle-Mir docking module to Mir.Payloads: Shuttle-Mir Mission 2; docking module with two attached solar arrays; IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC); Glow Experiment (GLO-4)/ Photogrammetric Appendage Structural Dynamics Experiment (PASDE) Payload (GPP); Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II.
First attempted launch of STS-88 was scrubbed at 09:03 GMT on December 3 due to a problem with a hydraulic system sensor. Launch came the next day, with Endeavour entering an initial 75 km x 313 km x 51.6 degree orbit. Half an orbit after launch, at 09:19 GMT, Endeavour fired its OMS engines to raise the orbit to 180 km x 322 km x 51.6 degree.
On December 5 at 22:25 GMT Nancy Currie unberthed the Unity space station node from the payload bay using the RMS arm. She then moved the Unity to a position docked to the Orbiter Docking System in the payload bay in readiness for assembly with the Russian-launched Zarya FGB ISS component. After rendezvous with the Zarya FGB module, on December 6 at 23:47 GMT Endeavour grappled Zarya with the robot arm, and at 02:07 GMT on December 7 it was soft docked to the PMA-1 port on Unity. After some problems hard dock was achieved at 02:48 GMT. Unity and Zarya then formed the core of the future International Space Station. Ross and Newman made three space walks to connect cables between Zarya and Unity, on December 7, 9 and 12. On the last EVA a canvas tool bag was attached to the exterior of Unity to provide tools for future station assembly workers. Docking cables were disconnected to prevent Unity and Zarya from inadvertently undocking. Following an internal examination of the embryonic space station, Endeavour undocked at 20:30 GMT on December 13. The SAC-A and Mightysat satellites were ejected from the payload bay on December 14 and 15. Deorbit burn was December 16 at 03:48 GMT, and Endeavour landed at 04:53:29 GMT, on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center.
Began assembly of International Space Station. Connected cables between Zarya and Unity modules.
Continued assembly of International Space Station. Connected cables between Zarya and Unity modules and deployed antennae.
Completed initial assembly of International Space Station. A canvas tool bag was attached to the exterior of Unity to provide tools for future assembly workers. Also disconnected some docking cables, so that Unity and Zarya could no longer undock.