This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001.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

David Mathieson (Dave) Walker Status: Deceased. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Divorced. Children: Two. Birth Date: 20 May 1944. Birth City: Columbus. Birth State: Georgia. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Date of Death: 23 April 2001. Cause of Death: Cancer. Group: 1978 NASA Group. Date Selected: 16 January 1978. Departed: 1996. Number of Flights: 4. Total Time: 30.19 days.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: David M. Walker (Captain, USN)
NASA Astronaut

Born May 20, 1944, in Columbus, Georgia, but considers Eustis, Florida, to be his hometown. Single. Two sons. He enjoys reading, music, and a variety of sports. His mother, Mrs. Walter Rundle, resides there.

Graduated from Eustis High School, Eustis, Florida, in 1962; received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1966.

Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, six Navy Air Medals, the Battle Efficiency Ribbon, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, four NASA Space Flight Medals, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Associate Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Museum of Naval Aviation Foundation, and the Eagle Scout Association.

Walker was graduated from Annapolis and subsequently received flight training from the Naval Aviation Training Command at bases in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. He was designated a naval aviator in December 1967 and proceeded to Naval Air Station Miramar, California, for assignment to F-4 Phantoms aboard the carriers USS Enterprise and USS America. From December 1970 to 1971, he attended the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was subsequently assigned in January 1972 as an experimental and engineering test pilot in the flight test division at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland. While there, he participated in the Navy's preliminary evaluation and Board of Inspection and Survey trials of the F-14 Tomcat and tested a leading edge slat modification to the F-4 Phantom. He then attended the U.S. Navy Safety Officer School at Monterey, California, and completed replacement pilot training in the F-14 Tomcat at Naval Air Station Miramar, California. In 1975, Walker was assigned to Fighter Squadron 142, stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, as a fighter pilot and was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea twice aboard the USS America.

He has logged more than 7000 hours flying time--over 6500 hours in jet aircraft.

Selected by NASA in January 1978, Walker became an astronaut in August 1979. His technical assignments since then include: Astronaut Office Safety Officer; Deputy Chief of Aircraft Operations; STS-1 chase pilot; software verification at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); mission support group leader for STS-5 and STS-6; Assistant to the Director, Flight Crew Operations; leader of the astronaut support crew at Kennedy Space Center; Branch Chief, Space Station Design and Development; and Special Manager for Assembly, Space Station Project Office. From July 1993 to June 1994, Walker was Chief of the Station/Exploration Support Office, Flight Crew Operations Directorate, after which he chaired the JSC Safety Review Board prior to being assigned to command STS-69, expected to launch in July 1995. A veteran of four space flights, Walker has logged over 724 hours in space. He was the pilot on STS 51-A in 1984, and was the mission commander on STS-30 in 1989, STS-53 in 1992 and STS-69 in 1995.

On his first flight, Walker was the pilot on STS 51-A which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 8, 1984. This was the second flight of the Orbiter Discovery. During the mission the crew deployed two satellites, Canada's Anik D-2 (Telesat H), and Hughes' LEASAT-1 (Syncom IV-1). In the first space salvage mission in history the crew also retrieved for return to Earth the Palapa B-2 and Westar VI satellites. STS 51-A completed 127 orbits of the Earth before landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 16, 1984.

As mission commander of STS-30, Walker and his crew launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on May 4, 1989, aboard the Orbiter Atlantis. During the four-day mission, crew members successfully deployed the Magellan Venus-exploration spacecraft, the first U.S. planetary science mission launched since 1978, and the first planetary probe to be deployed from the Shuttle. Magellan arrived at Venus in August 1990, and mapped over 95% of the surface of Venus. In addition, crew members also worked on secondary payloads involving fluid research in general, chemistry, and electrical storm studies. Following 64 orbits of the Earth, the STS-30 mission concluded with the first cross-wind landing test of the Shuttle Orbiter at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on May 8, 1989.

Walker next commanded a five-man crew on STS-53 which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 2, 1992. The crew of five deployed the classified Department of Defense payload DOD-1 and then performed several Military-Man-in-Space and NASA experiments. After completing 115 orbits of the Earth in 175 hours, Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 9, 1992.

Most recently, Walker again commanded a five-man crew on STS-69 which launched on September 7, 1995. The crew successfully deployed and retrieved a SPARTAN satellite and the Wake Shield Facility. Also on board was the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker payload, and numerous secondary payloads and medical experiments. Endeavour landed at the Kennedy Space Center on September 18, 1995 after 171 orbits of the Earth in 260 hours, 29 minutes, 8 seconds.

Walker left NASA in April 1996 to become Vice President, Sales & Marketing, for NDC Voice Corporation in Southern California.

APRIL 1996

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 .