Ken Bowersox

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Kenneth Dwane "Sox" Bowersox
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1956-11-14) November 14, 1956 (age 61)
Portsmouth, Virginia
Other occupation
Test pilot
Rank Captain, United States Navy
Time in space
211d 14h 12m
Selection 1987 NASA Group
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
13 hours 17 minutes
Missions STS-50, STS-61, STS-73, STS-82, STS-113, Expedition 6, Soyuz TMA-1
Mission insignia
Sts-50-patch.png Sts-61-patch.png Sts-73-patch.png Sts-82-patch.png Sts-113-patch.png Expedition 6 insignia.svg

Kenneth Dwane "Sox" Bowersox (born November 14, 1956) is a United States Navy officer, and a former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of five Space Shuttle missions and an extended stay aboard the International Space Station.


Bowersox was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, but considers Bedford, Indiana his home town. As a young boy, his family lived in Oxnard, California for seven years and he attended Rio Real elementary.[1] Bowersox is an Eagle Scout [2] and earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Naval Academy before receiving his commission in 1978. He attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and graduated with class 85A.[3] He served as a test pilot on A-7E and F/A-18 aircraft, and was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1987. Bowersox holds the rank of Captain in the United States Navy.

NASA Career[edit]

He was selected as an Astronaut Pilot by NASA in 1987.

Spaceflight Experience[edit]

Bowersox pictured during STS-73, prior to re-entry

Bowersox first flew as a pilot on the Space Shuttle missions STS-50 and STS-61, he commanded missions STS-73, a microgravity research mission and STS-82, a Hubble Space Telescope repair mission.

Expedition 6[edit]

Bowersox pictured on the ISS

He launched on STS-113 with Don Pettit and Nikolai Budarin for an extended stay aboard the ISS as the commander of ISS Expedition 6 in 2002 and 2003, returning aboard Soyuz TMA-1 rather than the Space Shuttle as a result of the fleet's grounding following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, which occurred during Bowersox's tour aboard the Station. During Expedition 6, Bowersox performed 2 EVAs with Pettit, totalling over 13 hours in cumulative EVA time.

After NASA[edit]

Bowersox retired from NASA on September 30, 2006. On June 16, 2009 he was appointed vice president of Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance at SpaceX. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame on June 8, 2010, four days after the first successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.[4]

It was reported on January 17, 2012 that Bowersox resigned from SpaceX in late December 2011.

Bowersox appeared on three episodes of the American TV show Home Improvement.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Bowersox is a recipient of the National Defense Service Medal with award star, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and NASA Space Flight Medal with four award stars.


  1. ^ Murillo, Sandra (February 8, 2003). "Pupils Feared for Pen Pal in Space". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  2. ^ "Scouting and Space Exploration". Boy Scouts of America. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  3. ^ USAF Test Pilot School 50 Years and Beyond. Privately Published. 1994. p. 240. 
  4. ^ NASA TV airing U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction on June 5


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

External links[edit]