Pamela Melroy

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Pamela Melroy
Pamela Melroy.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1961-09-17) September 17, 1961 (age 52)
Palo Alto, California
Other occupation
Test Pilot
Rank Colonel, USAF (retired)
Time in space
38 days, 20 hours, 04 minutes
Selection 1994 NASA Group
Missions STS-92, STS-112, STS-120
Mission insignia
Sts-92-patch.png Sts-112-patch.png Sts-120-patch.svg

Pamela Anne Melroy (born 17 September 1961) is a retired United States Air Force officer and a former NASA astronaut. She served as pilot on Space Shuttle missions STS-92 and STS-112 and commanded mission STS-120 before leaving the agency in August 2009. After serving as Deputy Program Manager, Space Exploration Initiatives with Lockheed Martin,[1] Melroy joined the Federal Aviation Administration in 2011, where she was a senior technical advisor and director of field operations for the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation.[2]

In 2013, she left the FAA and joined DARPA as Deputy Director of the Tactical Technology Office.

Early life and education[edit]

Melroy graduated from Bishop Kearney High School in 1979. Melroy received a bachelor's degree in physics and astronomy from Wellesley College in 1983. She then earned a master's degree in earth and planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. On May 18, 2008 Melroy received an honorary degree from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY.

Military career[edit]

Melroy was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program in 1983. After completing a master’s degree, she attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas and was graduated in 1985. She flew the KC-10 for six years at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana, as a copilot, aircraft commander and instructor pilot. Melroy is a veteran of Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, with over 200 combat and combat support hours. In June 1991, she attended the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Upon her graduation, she was assigned to the C-17 Combined Test Force, where she served as a test pilot until her selection for the astronaut program. She has logged over 5,000 hours flight time in over 50 different aircraft. Melroy retired from the Air Force in February 2007.

NASA career[edit]

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in December 1994, Melroy reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. She completed a year of training and evaluation and was qualified for flight assignment as a shuttle pilot. Initially assigned to astronaut support duties for launch and landing, she also worked Advanced Projects for the Astronaut Office. She also performed CAPCOM duties in mission control. Melroy served on the Columbia Reconstruction Team as the lead for the crew module and served as deputy project manager for the Columbia crew survival investigation team. In her final position, she served as branch chief for the Orion branch of the Astronaut Office.

Melroy served as pilot on two flights (STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002), and was the mission commander on STS-120 in 2007, making her the second woman to command a space shuttle mission (after Eileen Collins).[3] The STS-120 crew visited the station during Expedition 16, commanded by Peggy Whitson. Whitson was the first female ISS commander, making the STS-120 mission the first time that two female mission commanders were in orbit at the same time.[4][5]

She has logged over 924 hours (over 38 days) in space.

Spaceflight experience[edit]

STS-92 Discovery (October 11–24, 2000) was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. During the 13-day flight, the seven member crew attached the Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 to the International Space Station using Discovery’s robotic arm and performed four space walks to configure these elements. This expansion of the ISS opened the door for future assembly missions and prepared the station for its first resident crew. The STS-92 mission was accomplished in 202 orbits, traveling 5.3 million miles in 12 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes and 25 seconds.

STS-112 Atlantis (October 7–18, 2002) launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-112 was an International Space Station assembly mission during which the crew conducted joint operations with the Expedition-5 by delivering and installing the S1 Truss (the third piece of the station's 11-piece Integrated Truss Structure). It took three spacewalks to outfit and activate the new component, during which Melroy acted as internal spacewalk choreographer. STS-112 was the first shuttle mission to use a camera on the External Tank, providing a live view of the launch to flight controllers and NASA TV viewers. The mission was accomplished in 170 orbits, traveling 4.5 million miles in 10 days, 19 hours, and 58 minutes.

STS-120 Discovery (October 23-November 7, 2007) launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. During the mission, the Node 2 element named Harmony was delivered to the International Space Station. This element opened up the capability for future international laboratories to be added to the station. In addition, the P6 Solar Array was re-located from the Z1 Truss to the end of the port side of the Integrated Truss Structure. During the re-deploy of the array, the array panels snagged and were damaged. An unplanned spacewalk was successfully performed to repair the array. The mission was accomplished in 238 orbits, traveling 6.2 million miles in 15 days, 2 hours, and 23 minutes.

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