Jim Wetherbee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from James D. Wetherbee)
Jump to: navigation, search
James D. Wetherbee
James Wetherbee.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1952-11-27) November 27, 1952 (age 62)
Flushing, New York, U.S.
Other names
James Donald Wetherbee
Other occupation
Naval aviator, test pilot
University of Notre Dame, B.S. 1974
Rank Captain, USN
Time in space
66d 10h 23m
Selection 1984 NASA Group 10
Missions STS-32, STS-52, STS-63, STS-86, STS-102, STS-113
Mission insignia
STS-32 patch.png Sts-52-patch.png Sts-63-patch.png Sts-86-patch.png Sts-102-patch.png Sts-113-patch.png
Retirement January 3, 2005
Awards Dfc-usa.jpg

James Donald "Jim"/"Wxb" Wetherbee (born November 27, 1952), (Capt, USN, Ret.), is an American former naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aerospace engineer, and NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of six Space Shuttle missions and is the only American to have commanded five spaceflight missions.

Early life and education[edit]

Wetherbee was born on November 27, 1952, in Flushing, New York, and raised in Huntington Station, New York.[1] He enjoys tennis, skiing, softball, running, and music. He graduated from Holy Family Diocesan High School in South Huntington, New York, in 1970. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1974.

Naval service[edit]

Following his graduation from the Notre Dame, he received his commission in the United States Navy. He was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1976. After training in the A-7E, he was assigned to Attack Squadron 72 (VA-72) from August 1977 to November 1980 aboard the USS John F. Kennedy and logged 125 night carrier landings.

After attending the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1981 he was assigned to the Systems Engineering Test Directorate. He was a project officer and test pilot for the weapons delivery system and avionics integration for the F/A-18 aircraft. Subsequently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 132 (VFA-132), he flew operationally in the F/A-18 from January 1984 until his selection for the astronaut candidate program.[2]

He has logged over 7,000 hours flying time in 20 different types of aircraft, including 345 carrier landings.

NASA career[edit]

Wetherbee has been selected as an astronaut candidate in 1984. He piloted mission STS-32 in 1990 and commanded missions STS-52 (1992), STS-63 (1995), STS-86 (1997), STS-102 (2001), and STS-113 (2002). The final three missions were dockings with Mir and the International Space Station; STS-113 was the last Space Shuttle mission before the Columbia disaster.

Spaceflight experience[edit]

STS-32: Columbia (January 9–20, 1990) included the successful deployment of the Syncom IV-F5 satellite, and retrieval of the 21,400-pound Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) using the Remote Manipulator System (RMS). The crew also operated a variety of middeck experiments and conducted numerous medical test objectives, including in-flight aerobic exercise and muscle performance to evaluate human adaptation to extended duration missions. Mission duration was 173 orbits in 261 hours and 01 minute.

STS-52: Columbia (October 22 to November 1, 1992) successfully deployed the Laser Geodynamic Satellite (LAGEOS), a joint Italian-American project. The crew also operated the first U.S. Microgravity Payload (USMP) with French and American experiments, and successfully completed the initial flight tests of the Canadian-built Space Vision System (SVS). Mission duration was 236 hours and 56 minutes.

STS-63: Discovery (February 2–11, 1995), was the first joint flight of the new Russian-American Space Program. Mission highlights included the rendezvous with the Russian Space Station, Mir, operation of Spacehab, and the deployment and retrieval of Spartan 204. The mission was accomplished in 129 orbits in 198 hours and 29 minutes.

STS-86: Atlantis (September 25 to October 6, 1997) was the seventh mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. Highlights included the delivery of a Mir attitude control computer, the exchange of U.S. crew members Mike Foale and David Wolf, a spacewalk by Scott Parazynski and Vladimir Titov to retrieve four experiments first deployed on Mir during the STS-76 docking mission, the transfer to Mir of 10,400 pounds of science and logistics, and the return of experiment hardware and results to Earth. Mission duration was 169 orbits in 259 hours and 21 minutes.

STS-102: Discovery (March 8–21, 2001) was the eighth Space Shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station. The mission accomplishments included the delivery of the Expedition 2 crew and the contents of the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, the completion of two successful spacewalks, the return to Earth of the Expedition 1 crew, as well as the return of Leonardo, the reusable cargo carrier built by the Italian Space Agency. Mission duration was 307 hours and 49 minutes.

STS-113: Endeavour (November 23 to December 7, 2002) was the sixteenth Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station. The launch occurred on November 23, 2002 to deliver the P1 Truss segment, which provides structural support for the Space Station radiators. Endeavour also delivered a new Expedition 6 crew to the Station, returning to Earth on December 7, 2002 with the Expedition 5 crew ending their 6-month stay in space. The total mission duration was 13 days, 18 hours and 47 minutes.

Post-NASA career[edit]

Wetherbee retired from the U.S. Navy in 2003, and left NASA in 2005 to become a consultant. He joined BP in 2006 as a safety auditor, and retired in 2014. He is currently working as a drummer and as a consultant for leaders in hazardous environments.

Personal life[edit]

Wetherbee is married to former Robin DeVore Platt of Jacksonville, Florida and has two children.

Organizations[edit]

Lifetime Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Honorary Member, Musicians’ Union, Local 47, American Federation of Musicians, Los Angeles, California.

Awards and honors[edit]

Records[edit]

  • Only American to have commanded five missions in space.[3]
  • Has landed the Space Shuttle more times than anyone (five).[3]
  • At 6'4" (1.93 m), Jim Wetherbee is the tallest person to fly in space.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]