Andrew Abercromby

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Andrew Abercromby
Andrew Abercromby.jpg
Andrew Abercromby in front of Lunar Excursion Vehicle.
Born (1980-05-12) May 12, 1980 (age 34)
Education M.Eng., Mechanical Engineering, University of Edinburgh; Ph.D., Kinesiology, University of Houston
Occupation Biomedical engineer
Employer Wyle Laboratories
Known for Aquanaut

Andrew F. J. Abercromby (born May 12, 1980)[1][2] is a biomedical engineer working on the design and testing of spacesuit systems and rovers for future exploration of the solar system. He works for Wyle Integrated Science & Engineering at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.[3] As an aquanaut, Abercromby served as a member of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 14 (NEEMO 14) crew. Abercromby has more than ten years of experience working in the Space Life Sciences and Engineering Directorates at the Johnson Space Center.[1] He is married with two daughters.[4]


Growing up in a fishing village in Scotland, Abercromby played soccer, rugby and cricket. He was not interested in space exploration until the age of 17, while attending Buckhaven High School in Fife, Scotland, when he was offered the chance to fly to the United States and join an International Space School at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Abercromby had never been on an airplane before.[1][4][5] His host while in Houston was Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield. Abercromby would later say, "It was really something - sharing my breakfast cereal with a real-life astronaut."[4] After spending two weeks at NASA Abercromby knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.[1][4][5]

Because no aerospace degree was available in Scotland,[4] after leaving high school Abercromby studied mechanical engineering at the University of Edinburgh while trying to figure out a way to become involved in space exploration and perhaps fly in space himself one day. After much study, part-time jobs, and some pilot training with the reserves of the Royal Air Force, Abercromby was employed by NASA.[1] Abercromby received an award as best graduate student from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.[4] He received an M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh in 2002.[6] In 2006 Abercromby received a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Houston. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University's Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) in 2007.[7]

NASA career[edit]

Abercromby and Aquarius habitat technician Nate Bender performing communication checks during NEEMO 14 mission.

As a biomedical engineer and deputy project manager for the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) project, Abercromby is part of a team designing and testing a new type of human space exploration vehicle. Abercromby is also a member of the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Physiology, Systems and Performance project, which is helping develop new spacesuits that will be safer, more efficient, and easier to use. Abercromby has also worked in NASA's Neurosciences Laboratory, Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility, and Flight Mechanics Laboratory.[1][5]

Abercromby has worked on NASA analog missions in the Arizona desert and on the Haughton–Mars Project in the High Arctic.[1][8] He has also worked aboard reduced-gravity research aircraft and on the Pavilion Lake Research Project, investigating a remote lake in British Columbia, Canada.[1][7][9] In May 2010, Abercromby became an aquanaut through his participation in the joint NASA-NOAA, NEEMO 14 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) project, an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world's only undersea research laboratory.[3][10] The NEEMO 14 mission was commanded by Chris Hadfield, Abercromby's host on his first visit to Houston thirteen years earlier.[4] Prior to the NEEMO 14 mission, Abercromby was quoted as saying that he "expects to learn a lot about himself by living and working as part of an underwater team for two weeks. He expects it to be a lot of work but plans on enjoying the unique experience."[1] Abercromby celebrated his 30th birthday during the NEEMO 14 mission.[2][4]

Abercromby was a member of NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) 2010 Mission Support Team. He was responsible for ensuring that all experimental procedures were followed and that all of the data was collected.[5] Abercromby was a member of the support team for the NEEMO 15 mission in October 2011.[11] During the NEEMO 16 mission in June 2012, Abercromby served as an In-Water Test Director and piloted a DeepWorker submersible.[12][13]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i NASA (2010). "NASA - Dr. Andrew F.J. Abercromby". NASA. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Chappell, Steve (2010-05-13). "CSA - NEEMO 14 Crew Journal". Canadian Space Agency. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b NASA (2010). "NASA - NEEMO 14". NASA. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Young, Noel (2010). "Edit International - NASA Aquanauts Someday May Fix Oil Leaks". Edit International. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d NASA (2010). "NASA - Meet the 2010 Desert RATS Mission Support Team". NASA. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Andrew Abercromby". Pavilion Lake Research Project. 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "HHP News Events". The University of Houston. 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Haughton-Mars Project: Status Reports Archives". Mars Institute. 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Pavilion Lake Research Project". Pavilion Lake Research Project. 2011. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  10. ^ Alexander, Aaron (2010). "Archive for the 'NEEMO 14' Mission". NURC. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  11. ^ NASA (October 3, 2011). "NASA - Meet the NEEMO 15 Support Team". NASA. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (June 21, 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Days 10 & 11 - Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  13. ^ Stevenin, Hervé (June 19, 2012). "The NEEMO 16 Aquanauts meet the Men in Black". Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 

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