Astronaut Biography: Rick Sturckow

Astronaut Biography: Rick Sturckow
NASA astronaut Rick Sturckow poses for an official portrait. (Image credit: NASA.)

NAME: Frederick W. "Rick"Sturckow (Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps).
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born August 11, 1961, in La Mesa,California but considers Lakeside, California to be his hometown. Married tothe former Michele A. Street of Great Mills, Maryland. He enjoys flying andphysical training (PT). His father, Karl H. Sturckow, resides in Lakeside andhis mother, Janette R. Sturckow, resides in La Mesa.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Grossmont HighSchool, La Mesa, California, in 1978. Bachelor of science degree in mechanicalengineering from California Polytechnic State University, 1984.

ORGANIZATIONS: Marine Corps Association (MCA).Former member of Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP).

SPECIAL HONORS: Defense Superior Service Medal,Single Mission Air Medal with Combat "V", Strike/Flight Air Medals (4), Navyand Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal,NASA Space Flight Medals (2).

EXPERIENCE: Sturckow was commissioned inDecember, 1984. An Honor Graduate of The Basic School, he earned his wings inApril, 1987. Following initial F/A-18 training at VFA-125, he reported toVMFA-333, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina.

While assigned to VMFA-333 he made an overseasdeployment to Japan, Korea, and the Philippines and was then selected to attendthe Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in March, 1990. In August of 1990 hedeployed to Sheik Isa Air Base, Bahrain for a period of eight months. Sturckowflew a total of forty-one combat missions during Operation Desert Storm.

In January, 1992 he attended the United States AirForce Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California. In 1993 he reported to theNaval Air Warfare Center- Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland for dutyas the F/A-18 E/F Project Pilot. Sturckow also flew a wide variety of projectsand classified programs as an F/A-18 test pilot.

He has logged over 4,790 flight hours and has flownover 50 different aircraft.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in December 1994, Sturckow reportedto the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. He completed a year of training andevaluation and was assigned to work technical issues for the Vehicle Systemsand Operations Branch of the Astronaut Office.

He currently serves as Deputy for the ShuttleOperations Branch of the Astronaut Office, and also serves as Lead for KSCOperations Support. Sturckow has flown twice and has logged over 568 hours inspace. He served as pilot on STS-88 in 1998 (the first International SpaceStation assembly mission), and most recently on STS-105 (2001). Sturckow isassigned as Crew Commander of STS-117 and is currently serving as the Chief ofthe Astronaut Office Capcom Branch.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-88 Endeavour (December 4-15, 1998) was the first International SpaceStation assembly mission. During the 12-day mission, Unity, the U.S. built node,was mated with Zarya, the Russian builtFunctional Cargo Block (FGB).

Two crew members performed three space walks toconnect umbilicals and attach tools/hardware in the assembly and outfitting ofthe station. Additionally, the crew performed the initial activation and firstingress of the International Space Station preparing it for future assemblymissions and full time occupation. The crew also performed IMAX CargoBay Camera (ICBC) operations, and deployed two satellites, Mighty Sat 1built by the USAF Phillips Laboratory and SAC-A the first successful launch ofan Argentine satellite. Themission was accomplished in 185 orbits of the Earth in 283 hours and 18 minutes.

STS-105Discovery (Aug 10-22, 2001) was the 11th mission to the International SpaceStation. While at the orbital outpost, the STS-105crew delivered the Expedition-3crew, attached the LeonardoMulti-Purpose Logistics Module, and transferred over 2.7 metric tons ofsupplies and equipment to the station. During the mission, two spacewalks wereperformed by two crewmembers. They also brought home the Expedition-2crew. 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 2006

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