Kent Rominger

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Kent Rominger

Kent Rominger (b. August 7, 1956) is an American astronaut, the current chief of the NASA Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center, and a Captain in the United States Navy.

He was born in Del Norte, Colorado. He and his wife Mary Sue have one child. He enjoys snow skiing, water skiing, horseback riding, and running.

He graduated from Del Norte High School, Del Norte, Colorado, in 1974; received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University in 1978 and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1987.

He is a member of the Association of Space Explorers, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Association of Naval Aviation, and the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Society.

He has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. He was named to the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame in 2000. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and was the Naval Air Test Center Test Pilot of the Year in 1988. He received the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Ray E. Tenhoff Award in 1990, the Jack Northrop Award in 1996, and the Colorado State University Distinguished Service Award in 1997. He was named West Coast Tomcat Fighter Pilot of the Year in 1992 and was listed in the Top Ten Carrier Landing Distinction in Airwings Two and Nine.

Rominger received his commission through the Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate (AVROC) Program in 1979, and was designated a Naval Aviator in September 1980. Following training in the F-14 Tomcat, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron Two (VF-2) from October 1981 to January 1985 aboard the USS Ranger and USS Kitty Hawk. While assigned to VF-2 Rominger attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). In 1987 he completed the Naval Postgraduate School/Test Pilot School Cooperative Program, and was assigned as F-14 Project Officer to the Carrier Suitability Branch of the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at Patuxent River, Maryland. During his tour of duty Rominger completed the initial carrier suitability sea trials of the F-14B, logging the first aircraft carrier arrestment and catapult launch in the upgraded Tomcat. In September 1990 he reported to Fighter Squadron Two Hundred Eleven (VF-211) where he served as Operations Officer and completed a Desert Storm Deployment to the Persian Gulf aboard USS Nimitz.

He has logged over 5,000 flying hours in over 35 types of aircraft and 685 carrier landings.

Selected by NASA in March 1992, Rominger reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. He completed one year of training and is qualified for assignment as a pilot on future Space shuttle flight crews. Rominger was initially assigned to work technical issues for the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch. He also served as Chief of the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch, and Deputy Director, Flight Crew Operations. A veteran of five space flights, Rominger has logged over 1,600 hours in space. He flew as pilot on STS-73 in 1995, STS-80 in 1996 and STS-85 in 1997, and was crew commander on STS-96 in 1999 and STS-100 in 2001. Rominger currently serves as Chief of the Astronaut Corps, responsible for the mission preparation activities of all Space Shuttle and future International Space Station crews and their support personnel.

Space Flight Experience

STS-73 in Columbia (October 20 to November 5, 1995) was the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission. The mission focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, fluid dynamics, and numerous scientific experiments housed in the pressurized Spacelab module. In completing his first space flight, Rominger orbited the earth 256 times, traveled over 6 million miles, and logged a total of 15 days, 21 hours, and 52 minutes in space.

STS-80, also in Columbia (November 19 to December 7, 1996) was a 17-day mission during which the crew deployed and retrieved the Wake Shield Facility (WSF) and the Orbiting Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer (ORFEUS) satellites. The free-flying WSF created a super vacuum in its wake and grew thin film wafers for use in semiconductors and other high-tech electrical components. The ORFEUS instruments, mounted on the reusable Shuttle Pallet Satellite, studied the origin and makeup of stars. In completing his second space flight, Rominger orbited the earth a record 278 times, traveled over 7 million miles and logged 17 days, 15 hours and 53 minutes in space.

STS-85 in Discovery (August 7-19, 1997) was a 12-day mission during which the crew deployed and retrieved the CRISTA-SPAS satellite, operated the Japanese Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) robotic arm, studied changes in the Earth's atmosphere and tested technology destined for use on the future International Space Station. The mission was accomplished in 189 Earth orbits, traveling 4.7 million miles in 11 days, 20 hours and 27 minutes.

STS-96, also in Discovery, (May 27 to June 6, 1999) was a 10-day mission during which the crew delivered 4 tons of logistics and supplies to the International Space Station in preparation for the arrival of the first crew to live on the station. The mission included the first docking of a Space Shuttle to the International Space Station and was accomplished in 153 Earth orbits, traveling 4 million miles in 9 days, 19 hours and 13 minutes.

STS-100, in Endeavour (April 19 to May 1, 2001) was a 12-day mission during which the crew installed the Canadian-built Robotic Arm and the Rafaello Logistics Module to the International Space Station. Endeavour was docked 8-days on the most complex robotics flight in the history of the Space Shuttle program and was made up of a very diverse international crew, representing the United States, Russia, Canada and Italy. The mission was completed in 187 Earth orbits, traveling 4.9 million miles in 11 days, 21 hours and 30 minutes

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