John D. Olivas

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Danny Olivas
John Olivas v2.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1966-05-25) May 25, 1966 (age 49)[1]
North Hollywood, California
Other occupation
Time in space
27d 17h 5m
Selection 1998 NASA Group
Missions STS-117, STS-128
Mission insignia
STS-117 patch new.png STS-128 patch.png

John Daniel "Danny" Olivas (born May 25, 1965 in North Hollywood, California) is an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut. Olivas has flown on two space shuttle missions, STS-117 and STS-128. He performed EVAs on both missions, totaling 34hrs 28min.

Personal life[edit]

Born in North Hollywood, California, raised in El Paso, Texas, received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1989,[2] a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston in 1993 and a doctorate in mechanical engineering and materials science from Rice University in 1996.[3] in 2013 Olivas joined the University of Texas at El Paso as Director of the Center for the Advancement of Space Safety and Mission Assurance Research (CASSMAR) and will oversee space initiatives on campus.[4]

NASA career[edit]

NASA selected Olivas as an astronaut candidate in 1998. His astronaut training included orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques. From 1999 to 2002, he was assigned technical responsibilities within the Robotics Branch as lead for the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator Robot and the Mobile Transporter. From 2002 to 2005 he was assigned to the EVA Branch and supported the research effort focused on developing materials, tools and techniques to perform on-orbit shuttle repair. In July 2002, Olivas served as an aquanaut during the NEEMO 3 mission aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory.[5] In April 2005, he was a crew member on the NEEMO 8 mission.[6] In 2006, Olivas served as lead of the Hardware Integration Section of the Space Station Branch, responsible for ensuring proper configuration and integration of future station modules and visiting vehicles.

Spaceflight experience[edit]

John D. Olivas checking equipment during crew equipment interface test for STS-117.


STS-117 Atlantis (June 8–22, 2007) was the 118th Shuttle mission and the 21st mission to visit the International Space Station, delivering the second starboard truss segment, the third set of U.S. solar arrays, batteries and associated equipment. The mission also entailed the first ever on-orbit EVA repair to the Space Shuttle, Atlantis. During two spacewalks, Olivas accumulated 14 hours and 13 mins of EVA experience. The mission also delivered and returned with an ISS expedition crew member. STS-117 returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California, having traveled more than 5.8 million miles in 13 days, 20 hours and 20 minutes.


Olivas served as a mission specialist on space shuttle Discovery on the STS-128 mission, which launched on August 28, 2009. Discovery carried the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science and storage racks to the ISS. The mission included three spacewalks to remove and replace a materials processing experiment outside ESA’s Columbus module and return an empty ammonia tank assembly.[7]


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

  1. ^ Johnson Space Center, Lyndon B. "Astronaut Bio: John D. Olivas". Astronaut Bio. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Miner on a Mission: Astronaut John "Danny" Olivas Biography". University News. UT El Paso. June 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  3. ^ Boyd, Jake (June 8, 2007). "Olivas takes Rice tradition into orbit aboard Shuttle Atlantis". Rice New: Headlines. Rice University. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  4. ^ UTEP News (August 13, 2013). "Danny Olivas, UTEP Unite to Advance Space Research". UTEP News. University of Texas at El Paso. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  5. ^ NASA (April 21, 2011). "Life Sciences Data Archive : Experiment". NASA. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  6. ^ NASA (April 21, 2011). "Life Sciences Data Archive : Experiment". NASA. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  7. ^ "NASA Assigns Crew for Equipment Delivery Mission to Space Station". 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]