Duane G. Carey

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Duane Gene "Digger" Carey
Duane Carey.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1957-04-30) April 30, 1957 (age 60)
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Other occupation
Test pilot
Rank Lieutenant colonel, USAF
Time in space
10d 22h 10m
Selection 1996 NASA Group
Missions STS-109
Mission insignia

Duane Gene "Digger" Carey (born April 30, 1957 in Saint Paul, Minnesota) is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force and a former NASA astronaut.[1]


He graduated from Highland Park High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1975; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1981 and 1982, respectively.[2]

Flying career[edit]

Carey received his commission from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1981 and graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1983. He flew the A-10A Thunderbolt II during tours at England Air Force Base, Louisiana, and Suwon Air Base, Republic of Korea. He completed F-16 Falcon training in 1988 and was assigned to Torrejon Air Base, Spain.[3]

In 1991, he was selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. After graduation in 1992, he worked as an F-16 experimental test pilot and System Safety Officer at Edwards Air Force Base. He has logged over 4,300 hours in more than 35 types of aircraft.[4]

NASA career[edit]

Carey was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996. He reported to the NASA Johnson Space Center in August 1996. After the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was qualified for flight assignment as a pilot. Initially, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems/Operations Branch.[5]

In 2002, he served as the pilot of Columbia on STS-109, logging over 10 days in space. STS-109 (March 1–12, 2002). STS-109 was the fourth Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission. The crew of STS-109 successfully upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope, leaving it with a new power unit, a new camera and new solar arrays. HST servicing and upgrade was accomplished by four crewmembers during five EVAs on five consecutive days. Carey also helped document the EVA activities with video and still images. STS-109 orbited the Earth 165 times, and covered 3.9 million miles in over 262 hours.[6]

Carey retired from NASA in October 2004.[7]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to the former Cheryl Ann Tobritzhofer of Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have two children.[8]

He is a member of the National Space Society and American Motorcyclist Association.


Carey has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device and three Air Medals, as well as the American Motorcyclist Association Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award.[9]


  1. ^ "DUANE G. "DIGGER" CAREY (LIEUTENANT COLONEL, USAF)". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. October 2004. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Duane G. "Digger" Carey (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF)". Goddard Space Flight Center. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "D. Carey". Astronaut Bio. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. August 1998. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Duane (Digger) Carey". Astronaut Biography. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. October 2004. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Dunn, Marcia (13 October 2002). "He was wild before the blue yonder". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 3 July 2013. Sure, Carey eventually became an Air Force officer, flew combat in the Gulf War, racked up a pair of engineering degrees and even home-schooled his two kids in math and science. But would NASA want a former railroad bum and eternal motorcycle nut for a shuttle pilot, when all those straight-A, straight-arrow, strait-laced types were available? 
  6. ^ O'Brien, Miles (5 March 2002). "Aboard Columbia: Duane Carey". Cable News Network. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2013. An aerospace engineer and former military test pilot, Duane Carey is piloting the space shuttle Columbia's Hubble servicing mission on his first flight into space. Carey is also shooting video and still pictures on the mission and serving as one of two mission medics. 
  7. ^ "Astronaut 'Digger' Carey Trades Shuttle for Motorcycle". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 21 October 2004. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Columbia Pilot Carey". Spaceflight Now. 7 January 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "AMA Awards Program". About. American Motorcyclist Association. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 2002 Lt. Col. Duane 'Digger' Carey - AMA member and Space Shuttle pilot who carried the AMA flag into space 

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