Astronaut Biography: Patrick Forrester
Astronaut Patrick G. Forrester, NASA mission specialist, sits for an official photo portrait.
Credit: NASA.

NAME: Patrick G. Forrester (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired).
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born March 31, 1957 in El Paso, Texas. Married to the former Diana Lynn Morris of Springfield, Virginia. They have two children. He enjoys baseball and running. His parents, Colonel (ret.) Redmond V. and Patsy L. Forrester, reside in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Her father, Colonel (ret.) Lurie J. Morris, resides in Jacksonville, Florida. Her mother, Bettye Morris, is deceased.

EDUCATION: Graduated from West Springfield High School, Springfield, Virginia in 1975; received a bachelor of science degree in applied sciences and engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, in 1979, and a master of science degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia in 1989.

AWARDS: Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster); Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Expert Infantryman Badge.

SPECIAL HONORS: The Jack Northrop Award, Society of Experimental Test Pilots (1996). The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Certificate of Commendation (1995). NASA Space Flight Medal (2001). The Order of St. Michael (2001).

EXPERIENCE: Forrester graduated from West Point in June 1979 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He entered the U.S. Army Aviation School in 1979 and was designated an Army aviator in September 1980. He was subsequently assigned as an instructor pilot at the Aviation School and as the Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Aviation Center.

In 1984, he was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he served as a platoon leader, aviation company operations officer, and an assault helicopter battalion operations officer. After completing a Master of Science degree at the University of Virginia in 1989, he was assigned as a flight test engineer and as the research and development coordinator with the Army Aviation Engineering Flight Activity at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

In June 1992, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and was designated an experimental test pilot. In 1992, he was assigned as an engineering test pilot at the U.S. Army Aviation Technical Test Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama. Other military schools include the Army Parachutist Course, U.S. Army Ranger School, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, and the Command and General Staff College.

A Master Army Aviator, he has logged over 4000 hours in over 50 different aircraft.

Forrester retired from the Army in October 2005.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Forrester was assigned to NASA at the Johnson Space Center as an aerospace engineer in July 1993.

His technical assignments within the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch have included: flight software testing with the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); astronaut office representative for Landing/Rollout issues, Multi-function Electronic Display System ( MEDS) upgrade of the Orbiter fleet, and the Portable In-flight Landing Operations Trainer (PILOT). He has also served as the crew representative for robotics development for the International Space Station.

Forrester was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in May 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Initially, Forrester was assigned to duties at the Kennedy Space Center as a member of the astronaut support team, responsible for Shuttle prelaunch vehicle checkout, crew ingress and strap-in, and crew egress after landing. He next served as the technical assistant to the Director, Flight Crew Operations.

Following that, Forrester served as the Shuttle training and on-board crew procedures representative. He has also served as a CAPCOM for both ISS and shuttle missions. Forrester flew on STS-105 (2001). He has logged over 285 hours in space, including two spacewalks totaling 11 hours and 45 minutes of EVA time. Currently, he is assigned to the crew of STS-117.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-105 Discovery ( Aug 10-22, 2001) was the 11th mission to the International Space Station.

While at the orbital outpost, the STS-105 crew delivered the Expedition-3 crew, attached the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), and transferred over 2.7 metric tons of supplies and equipment to the station.

During the mission, Pat Forrester and Dan Barry performed two spacewalks totaling 11 hours and 45 minutes of EVA time. Forrester served as the prime robotics operator to install the MPLM. STS-105 also brought home the Expedition-2 crew. The STS-105 mission was accomplished in 186 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 4.9 million miles in 285 hours and 13 minutes.

Last updated: February 2007

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