Astronaut Biography: Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper
A NASA portrait of astronaut Heidemarie "Heide" Stefanyshyn-Piper.
Credit: NASA.

NAME: Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper (Commander, U.S. Navy)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born February 7, 1963 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Married to Glenn A. Piper. They have one child. She enjoys scuba diving, swimming, running, roller blading, ice skating. As an undergraduate, she competed in intercollegiate athletics on MIT's crew team. Her mother, Adelheid Stefanyshyn, resides in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her father, Michael Stefanyshyn, is deceased. His parents, Glenn & Gerry Piper, reside in Clarkston, Washington.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Derham Hall High School, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1980; received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984, and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985.

ORGANIZATIONS: American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

SPECIAL HONORS: Received "VADM C.R. Bryan Award" Class 2-88B, Engineering Duty Officer Basic Course. Awarded Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Navy Commendation Medals, 2 Navy Achievement Medals, and other service medals. "Most Valuable Player Award" MIT Women's Crew in 1982.

EXPERIENCE: Stefanyshyn-Piper received her commission from the Navy ROTC Program at MIT in June 1985. She completed training at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Florida as a Navy Basic Diving Officer and Salvage Officer. She completed several tours of duty as an Engineering Duty Officer in the area of ship maintenance and repair. She qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer onboard USS GRAPPLE (ARS 53).

In September 1994, Stefanyshyn-Piper reported to the Naval Sea Systems Command as Underwater Ship Husbandry Operations Officer for the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving. In that capacity, she advised fleet diving activities in the repair of naval vessels while waterborne.

Additionally she is a qualified and experienced salvage officer. Major salvage projects include: development of salvage plan for the Peruvian Navy salvage of the Peruvian submarine PACOCHA; and de-stranding of the tanker EXXON HOUSTON, off the coast of Barber's Point, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, Stefanyshyn-Piper reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996.

Having completed two years of training and evaluation, she is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Initially assigned to astronaut support duties for launch and landing, she has also served as lead Astronaut Office Representative for Payloads and in the Astronaut Office EVA branch.

Stefanyshyn-Piper is assigned to STS-115. The mission is targeted to launch in 2006.

Last updated: February 2006

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