Nancy J. Currie
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|Nancy J. Currie|
|Born||Nancy Jane Decker
December 29, 1958
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
|Ohio State University, B.A. 1980
University of Southern California, M.S. 1985
University of Houston, Ph.D. 1997
|Rank||Colonel, United States Army|
Time in space
|41d 15h 32m|
|Selection||1990 NASA Group|
|Missions||STS-57, STS-70, STS-88, STS-109|
Currie was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but considers Troy, Ohio, to be her hometown. She graduated from Troy High School in Troy, Ohio, in 1977, then received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in biological science from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, in 1980, a Master of Science degree in safety engineering from the University of Southern California in 1985, and a Doctorate in industrial engineering from the University of Houston in 1997.
Currie is a member of Army Aviation Association of America, Phi Kappa Phi, Ohio State University and ROTC Alumni Associations, Institute of Industrial Engineers, and Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Currie has served in the United States Army for over 22 years. Prior to her assignment at NASA in 1987, she attended initial rotary-wing pilot training and was subsequently assigned as an instructor pilot at the U.S. Army Aviation School. She has served in a variety of leadership positions including section leader, platoon leader, and brigade flight-standardization officer. As a Master Army Aviator she has logged over 3,900 flying hours in a variety of rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft.
Currie was assigned to NASA Johnson Space Center in September 1987 as a flight simulation engineer on the Shuttle Training Aircraft, a complex airborne simulator which models flight characteristics of the Shuttle orbiter. An astronaut since 1990, she has been involved in robotic hardware and procedure development for the shuttle and space station and has worked as a spacecraft communicator. Dr. Currie has also served as the chief of the Astronaut Office Robotics and Payloads-Habitability branches and the Habitability and Human Factors Office in JSC’s Space and Life Sciences Directorate. She has assisted the Johnson Space Center’s Automation, Robotics, and Simulation Division in the development of advanced robotics systems and is a consultant to NASA’s Space Human Factors Engineering Project. A veteran of four Space Shuttle missions, she has accrued 1,000 hours in space. She flew as mission specialist – flight engineer, on STS-57 (1993), STS-70 (1995), STS-88 (1998; the first International Space Station assembly mission), and STS-109 (2002).
In September 2003, Currie was selected to lead the Space Shuttle Program’s Safety and Mission Assurance Office. As of 2006, she serves as the Senior Technical Advisor to the Automation, Robotics, and Simulation Division in the JSC Engineering Directorate.
STS-57 Endeavour (June 21 to July 1, 1993). The primary objective of this mission was the retrieval of the European Retrievable Carrier satellite (EURECA). Additionally, this mission featured the first flight of Spacehab, a commercially-provided middeck augmentation module for the conduct of microgravity experiments, as well as a spacewalk by two crewmembers, during which Dr. Currie operated the Shuttle’s robotic arm. Spacehab carried 22 individual flight experiments in materials and life sciences research. STS-57 orbited the Earth 155 times and covered over 4.1 million miles in over 239 hours and 45 minutes.
STS-70 Discovery (July 13–22, 1995). The five-member crew deployed the final NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite to complete the constellation of NASA’s orbiting communication satellite system. Dr. Currie also conducted a myriad of biomedical and remote sensing experiments. STS-70 orbited the Earth 143 times and covered over 3.7 million miles in over 214 hours and 20 minutes.
STS-88 Endeavour (December 4–15, 1998). STS-88, ISS Flight 2A was the first International Space Station assembly mission. The primary objective of this 12-day mission was to mate the first American-made module, Unity, to the first Russian-made module, Zarya. Dr. Currie's primary role was to operate the Shuttle's 50-foot robotic arm to retrieve Zarya and connect the first two station segments. Two crewmembers performed a series of three space walks to connect electrical umbilicals and to attach hardware to the exterior structure for use during future EVAs. Dr. Currie also operated the robot arm during the space walks. During the mission the STS-88 crew ingressed the International Space Station to complete systems activation and installation of communication's equipment. The crew also deployed two small satellites. STS-88 completed 185 orbits of the Earth and covered over 4.7 million miles in 283 hours and 18 minutes.
STS-109 Columbia (March 1–12, 2002). STS-109 was the fourth mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. During the flight, Dr. Currie’s primary role was to operate the Shuttle’s 50-foot robot arm to retrieve and redeploy the telescope following the completion of numerous upgrades and repairs. She also operated the robot arm during a series of five consecutive spacewalks performed by four crewmembers. Hubble’s scientific capabilities and power system were significantly upgraded with the replacement of both solar arrays and the primary power control unit, the installation of the Advanced Camera for Surveys, and a scientific instrument cooling system. The Hubble Space Telescope was then boosted to a higher orbit and redeployed to continue its mission of providing views of the universe which are unmatched by ground-based telescopes or other satellites. STS-109 completed 165 earth orbits and covered over 3.9 million miles in over 262 hours.
Post astronaut career
Currie served as principal engineer in NASA's engineering safety center. She concurrently holds an appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University.
Awards and honors
- Arts and Sciences Award for Scholarship, Ohio State University (1980)
- Distinguished Graduate of the Army Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic Course (1981)
- Honor Graduate of the Army Rotary Wing Aviator Course (1982)
- Honor Graduate of the Army Aviation Officer Advanced Course (1986)
- Defense Superior Service Medals (2)
- Legion of Merit
- Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal
- NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2003)
- NASA Flight Simulation Engineering Award (1988)
- NASA Space Flight Medals (4)
- Silver Snoopy award
- Ohio Veteran's Hall of Fame (1994)
- Troy, Ohio Hall of Fame (1996)
- Ohio State University Army ROTC Hall of Fame (1996)
- Silver Order of St. Michael, Army Aviation Award (1997).
- Evans, Ben (June 22, 2013). "A Legacy of Women in Space: Twenty Years Since STS-57 (Part 1)". AmericaSpace.
- "Biography of Nancy J. Currie". JSC.NASA.gov.
- "Dr. Nancy J. Currie". NASA.gov.
- Biography of Nancy J. Currie at Spacefacts.de