Astronaut Biography: Steven Swanson
NASA astronaut Steven Swanson, mission specialist, poses for an official portrait.
Credit: NASA.

NAME: Steven R. Swanson
NASA Astronaut (Mission Specialist)

PERSONAL DATA: Born December 3, 1960 in Syracuse, New York, but considers Steamboat Springs, Colorado to be his hometown. Married to the former Mary Drake Young of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They have three children.

He enjoys mountain biking, basketball, skiing, weight lifting, running, woodworking and spending time with his family. His parents, Stanley and June Swanson, reside in Boise, Idaho. Her parents, Chan and Martha Young, reside in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in 1979; received a bachelor of science degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado in 1983, and a master of applied science in computer systems from Florida Atlantic University in 1986, and a doctorate in computer science from Texas A&M University in 1998.

SPECIAL HONORS: Recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the JSC Certificate of Accommodation, Flight Simulation Engineering Award, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

EXPERIENCE: Prior to coming to NASA, Steve worked for GTE in Phoenix, Arizona as a software engineer working on the real-time software of telephone system multiplexer/demultiplexers.

NASA EXPERIENCE: In 1987, Steve joined NASA as a systems engineer in the Aircraft Operations Division of JSC working on the Shuttle Training Aircraft. The Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) is a complex airborne shuttle simulator, which models the flight characteristics of the Shuttle from 35,000 ft. to main gear touchdown.

In 1989, Steve also became a flight simulation engineer on the STA. During his time with the STA, Steve worked on the improvement of the STA's navigation and control systems and the incorporation of a real-time wind determination algorithm.

In May of 1998, Steve was selected as an Astronaut Candidate and started training in August of 1998.

After completing Astronaut Candidate training, which includes intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, Steve was assigned to the Astronaut Office Space Station Operations Branch.

Steve has also worked in the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch and is now currently assigned as a CAPCOM (spacecraft communicator). Steve has also completed the advance training for EVA, the Shuttle and ISS robotic arms, and Shuttle rendezvous. He is assigned to the crew of STS-117.

Last updated: February 2006

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