June 12, 1958|
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Died||October 3, 2009
League City, Texas, U.S.
|Selection||NASA Astronaut Group 16 (1996)|
Early life and education
Born June 12, 1958 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but considered New York City and Merritt Island, Florida, to be his hometowns. Graduated from William Cullen Bryant High School, Long Island City, Queens, New York, in 1976; received an associate degree in applied science in aerospace technology from Farmingdale State College in 1978, a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1984, and a master of science degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida in 1995.
He died on October 3, 2009 following a 2 1⁄2 year battle with a brain tumor. He was survived by his wife, the former Donna Marie Emero of Huntington Beach, California, and two daughters.
From 1985 to 1988, Caldeiro worked as a test director during the production and flight test of the Rockwell/USAF B-1B Lancer. In that capacity he was involved in the checkout and delivery of all 100 aircraft. In 1988, he was transferred by Rockwell International to the Kennedy Space Center as a Space Shuttle main propulsion system specialist. In this capacity he was the Rockwell International design center representative for the ground processing and launch of the Orbiter Discovery.
Caldeiro was hired by NASA KSC in 1991 as a cryogenics and propulsion systems expert for the safety and mission assurance office. He was also tasked by KSC management to undertake several special assignments where he served as the Executive Staff Assistant to the Director of Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance. He actively participated in 52 space shuttle launches during his eight-year tenure at KSC.
Selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate on May 1, 1996, as part of Astronaut Group 16, nicknamed "The Sardines", Caldeiro reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. He was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist after completing the prescribed two years of training and evaluation. In 1997, he was assigned to the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch, where he served as lead astronaut of the ISS Environmental Controls and Life Support Systems and the European-built station modules. In that capacity he was involved in all aspects of design and manufacturing reviews for the MPLM, Node 2, Columbus Module and Cupola as well as equipment fit checks. Duties included support for the development of flight and maintenance procedures. From June 2005 to December 2006, Caldeiro served as the lead astronaut in charge of Shuttle software testing at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory. Duties included design, special testing, and verification of in-flight maintenance procedures. In January 2006, Caldeiro was reassigned to the WB-57 High Altitude Research Program at Flight Crew Operations, Aircraft Operations Division (AOD) at Ellington Field where he directed the integration and operation of high altitude atmospheric research experiments carried on board the NASA WB-57 aircraft.
Awards and honors
- Rockwell International Corporation Certificate of Commendation
- Kennedy Space Center Technical Leadership Certificate
- Group Achievement Awards (9)
- Kennedy Space Center Director Round Table Award
- Kennedy Space Center Superior Performance Awards (2)
- Kennedy Space Center Public Affairs Certificate of Appreciation for Service
- University of Central Florida Distinguished Alummni, 2001
- Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry Hispanic Scientist of the Year
- "NASA Astronaut Fernando "Frank" Caldeiro". legacy.com. Houston Chronicle. October 6, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2014.