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STS-128 Commander Frederick W. “Rick” Sturckow

STS-128 Commander Frederick W. “Rick” Sturckow
Frederick W. “Rick” Sturckow (Colonel, USMC) NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born August 11, 1961, and raised on a farm near Lakeside, California. Married to the former Michele A. Street of Great Mills, Maryland. He enjoys flying and physical training (PT). His father, Karl H. Sturckow, resides in Lakeside and his mother, Janette R. Sturckow, resides in La Mesa, California.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Grossmont High School, La Mesa, California, in 1978. Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, 1984.

SPECIAL HONORS: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Single Mission Air Medal with Combat “V”, Strike/Flight Air Medals (4), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, NASA Space Flight Medals (3), NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals (2).

EXPERIENCE: Sturckow was commissioned in December, 1984. An Honor Graduate of The Basic School, he earned his wings in April, 1987. Following initial F/A-18 training at VFA-125, he reported to VMFA-333, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. While assigned to VMFA-333 he made an overseas deployment to Japan, Korea, and the Philippines and was then selected to attend the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in March, 1990. In August of 1990 he deployed to Sheik Isa Air Base, Bahrain for a period of eight months. Sturckow flew a total of forty-one combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. In January, 1992 he attended the United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California. In 1993 he reported to the Naval Air Warfare Center- Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland for duty as the F/A-18 E/F Project Pilot. Sturckow also flew a wide variety of projects and classified programs as an F/A-18 test pilot.

He has logged over 4,790 flight hours and has flown over 50 different aircraft.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in December 1994, Sturckow reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. He completed a year of training and evaluation and was initially assigned to work technical issues for the Vehicle Systems and Operations Branch of the Astronaut Office. Since then he has served as Deputy for the Shuttle Operations Branch of the Astronaut Office, Lead for KSC Operations Support, and Chief of the Astronaut Office CAPCOM Branch, and Chief of the Astronaut Office ISS Branch. A veteran of three space flights Sturckow has logged over 904 hours in space. He served as pilot on STS-88 in 1998 (the first International Space Station assembly mission), and on STS-105 (2001) and was the Crew Commander on STS-117 (2007). Sturckow will command space shuttle Discovery on the STS-128 mission, targeted for launch in August 2009. Discovery will carry a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science and storage racks to the station. The mission will include two spacewalks to remove and replace a materials processing experiment outside ESA’s Columbus module and return an empty ammonia tank assembly. The mission will also exchange ISS crew members.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-88 Endeavour (December 4-15, 1998) was the first International Space Station assembly mission. During the 12-day mission, Unity, the U.S. built node, was mated with Zarya, the Russian built Functional Cargo Block (FGB). Two crew members performed three space walks to connect umbilicals and attach tools/hardware in the assembly and outfitting of the station. Additionally, the crew performed the initial activation and first ingress of the International Space Station preparing it for future assembly missions and full time occupation. The crew also performed IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC) operations, and deployed two satellites, Mighty Sat 1 built by the USAF Phillips Laboratory and SAC-A the first successful launch of an Argentine satellite. The mission was accomplished in 185 orbits of the Earth in 283 hours and 18 minutes.

STS-105 Discovery (August 10-22, 2001) was the 11th mission to the International Space Station. While at the orbital outpost, the STS-105 crew delivered the Expedition-3 crew, attached the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, and transferred over 2.7 metric tons of supplies and equipment to the station. During the mission, two spacewalks were performed by two crewmembers. They also brought home the Expedition-2 crew. The STS-105 mission was accomplished in 186 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 4.9 million miles in 285 hours and 13 minutes.

STS-117 Atlantis (June 8-22, 2007) was the 118th Shuttle mission and the 21st mission to visit the International Space Station. The successful construction and repair mission involved multiple EVAs by 4 astronauts to install the S3/4 Truss Segment, the heaviest element ever delivered by the Shuttle to the ISS. The mission also delivered and returned with an expedition crew member. STS-117 returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California, having traveled 5.8 million miles in 14-days.

MAY 2009

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STS-128 Commander Frederick W. “Rick” Sturckow