Gregory Chamitoff

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Gregory Errol Chamitoff
Gregorychamitoffv2.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American[1][2]
Status Active
Born (1962-08-06) August 6, 1962 (age 56)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Other occupation
Engineer
California Polytechnic State University (BS)
California Institute of Technology (MS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
University of Houston–Clear Lake (MS)
Time in space
198d 18h 02m
Selection 1998 NASA Group
Missions STS-124, Expedition 17, Expedition 18, STS-126, STS-134
Mission insignia
STS-124 patch.svg ISS Expedition 17 patch.png ISS Expedition 18 patch.png STS-126 patch.png STS-134 patch.png

Gregory Errol Chamitoff[pronunciation?] (born 6 August 1962 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada) is an engineer and NASA astronaut. He was assigned to Expedition 17 and flew to the International Space Station on STS-124, launching 31 May 2008. He was in space for 6 months, joining Expedition 18 after Expedition 17 left the station. He returned to Earth on the 30th of November 2008 aboard STS-126. Chamitoff served as a mission specialist on the STS-134 mission, which was the last flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour which delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the ISS.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Chamitoff was born 6 August 1962 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to a Jewish family of Russian origin[4]. He was inspired to become an Astronaut after watching the moon landing at the age of six.[5]

His education includes:

Early Career[edit]

As an undergraduate student at Cal Poly, Chamitoff taught lab courses in circuit design and worked summer internships at Four Phase Systems, Atari Computers, Northern Telecom, and IBM. He developed a self-guided robot for his undergraduate thesis project. While at MIT and Draper Labs (1985–1992), Chamitoff worked on several NASA projects. He performed stability analyses for the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope, designed flight control upgrades for the Space Shuttle autopilot, and worked on the attitude control system for Space Station Freedom. His doctoral thesis developed a new approach for robust intelligent flight control of hypersonic vehicles.

From 1993 to 1995, Chamitoff was a visiting professor at the University of Sydney, Australia, where he led a research group in the development of autonomous flight vehicles, and taught courses in flight dynamics and control. He has published numerous papers on aircraft and spacecraft guidance and control, trajectory optimization, and Mars mission design.[3]

NASA career[edit]

In 1995, Chamitoff joined the Motion Control Systems Group in the Mission Operations Directorate at the Johnson Space Center, where he developed software applications for spacecraft attitude control monitoring, prediction, analysis, and maneuver optimization.

Selected by NASA for the Astronaut Class of 1998, Chamitoff started training in August 1998 and qualified for flight assignment as a Mission Specialist in 2000. He worked in the Space Station Robotics branch, was lead CAPCOM for ISS Expedition 9, acted as Crew Support Astronaut for ISS Expedition 6, and helped develop onboard procedures and displays for Space Station system operations.[3]

In July 2002, Chamitoff was a crew-member on the Aquarius undersea research habitat for 9 days as part of the NEEMO 3 mission (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations).[6]

He served as the backup Expedition 15/16 Flight Engineer 2 and STS-117/STS-120 Mission Specialist 5 for Clayton Anderson.

Expedition 17 & 18[edit]

Chamitoff served on a long duration mission to the International Space Station. He launched as a Mission Specialist on board Space Shuttle mission STS-124. He was Flight Engineer 2 and Science Officer on Expedition 17. He returned home as a Mission Specialist on STS-126, completing a tour that lasted six months.[3]

As part of his personal allowance, Chamitoff brought the first bagels into space, 3 bags (18 sesame seed bagels) of Fairmount Bagels with him, from his cousin's bagel bakery.[7][8] He also bought a velcro chess set and started playing games against mission control, which got quite competitive.[9]

While Richard Garriott was aboard the ISS at the beginning of Expedition 18, Chamitoff and Garriott filmed the first magic show in space, and along with Yury Lonchakov, Michael Fincke and Richard Garriott, filmed the first science-fiction movie made in space, Apogee of Fear.[10]

After conducting experiments with the SPHERES during his mission, he founded the Zero Robotics competition, where high school students program the robots.[11]

STS-134[edit]

Chamitoff served as a mission specialist on STS-134, the penultimate Space Shuttle mission, during which he made two spacewalks, the last of which completed the construction of the ISS.[12]

Gallery[edit]

Post NASA Career[edit]

Dr Chamitoff is currently the Lawrence Hargrave Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Sydney, Australia and a Professor of Engineering Practice in the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He instructs senior design, human spaceflight operations, and dynamics and controls for aerospace vehicles.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • California Astronaut Hall of Fame
  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal
  • NASA Space Flight Medal
  • Honored Alumnus CalPoly
  • AIAA Associate Fellow
  • AIAA Technical Excellence Award
  • NASA Silver Snoopy award
  • NASA/USA Space Flight Awareness Award
  • C.S. Draper Laboratory Graduate Fellowship
  • IEEE Graduate Fellowship
  • Tau Beta Pi Honor Society Fellowship
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society
  • Applied Magnetics Scholarships
  • Academic Excellence Award
  • Most Outstanding Senior Award
  • Degree of Excellence and California Statewide Speech Finalist
  • Eagle Scout.[13]

Personal Life[edit]

Chamitoff is married to Alison Chantal Caviness, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. They have two children, Natasha and Dimitri.[3]

Chamitoff's recreational interests include scuba diving, backpacking, flying, skiing, racquetball, Aikido, juggling, magic and guitar. He is a certified divemaster and instrument rated pilot. Chamitoff also enjoys chess and has played games with people on earth while living in the ISS.[14]

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ The Canadian Jewish News - Former Montrealer heading into space
  2. ^ "Shuttle lifts off with Montreal-born astronaut aboard". CBC News. 31 May 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Gregory Errol Chamitoff (Ph.D.) NASA Astronaut (Former)". NASA. Retrieved 17 May 2018. 
  4. ^ "Preflight Interview: Gregory Chamitoff". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. my whole family’s from Montreal, although a generation before that they’re from Russia 
  5. ^ Alkira Reinfrank (23 July 2016). "Former NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff talks deep space with Canberra students". ABC News. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  6. ^ NASA (April 21, 2011). "Life Sciences Data Archive : Experiment". NASA. Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  7. ^ CTV.ca Montreal-born astronaut brings bagels into space Archived 2008-06-02 at the Wayback Machine. Sun. Jun. 1 2008 7:29 PM ET ; CTV National News - 1 June 2008 - 11pm TV newscast
  8. ^ The Gazette (Montreal), Here's proof: Montreal bagels are out of this world Archived 2008-06-04 at the Wayback Machine., IRWIN BLOCK, Tuesday June 3, 2008, Section A, Page A2
  9. ^ DYLAN LOEB McCLAIN. "Space Station to Mission Control: It's Your Move". New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  10. ^ Matt Blum. "NASA Relents: Apogee of Fear, First Sci-Fi Film Shot in Space, Will Be Released". wired. Retrieved 17 May 2018. 
  11. ^ "Zero Robotics History". 
  12. ^ NASA (May 2011). "STS-134 Mission Summary" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Astronauts and the BSA" (PDF). Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  14. ^ "Chess in Space: Houston, we have a checkmate". ChessBase. August 29, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]