Astronaut Biography: Brent W. Jett, Jr.
NASA astronaut and veteran shuttle commander Brent Jett poses for a portrait.
Credit: NASA/JSC.

NAME: Brent W. Jett, Jr. (Captain, U.S. Navy)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born October 5, 1958, in Pontiac, Michigan, but considers Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to be his hometown. Married to Janet Leigh Lyon of Patuxent River, Maryland.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Northeast High School, Oakland Park, Florida, in 1976; received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981; a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1989.

ORGANIZATIONS: Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Association of Naval Aviation, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, Association of Space Explorers.

SPECIAL HONORS: Graduated first of 976 in the Class of 1981 at U.S. Naval Academy; Distinguished Graduate U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 95. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Department of Defense Superior Service and Meritorious Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 3 NASA Space Flight Medals, and various other service awards.

EXPERIENCE: Jett was designated a Naval Aviator in March 1983, and reported to Fighter Squadron 101 at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, for initial F-14 Tomcat training. Upon completion of this training, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 74 and made overseas deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-60).

While assigned to Fighter Squadron 74, he was designated as an airwing qualified landing signal officer (LSO) and also attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). Jett was selected for the Naval Postgraduate School - Test Pilot School Cooperative Education Program and completed 15 months of graduate work at Monterey, California, before reporting to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in June 1988.

After graduation in June 1989, he worked as a project test pilot at the Carrier Stability Department of the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate, Naval Air Test Center, flying the F-14A/B/D, T-45A, and A-7E. Jett returned to the operational Navy in September 1991 and was again assigned to Fighter Squadron 74, flying the F-14B aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-60).

He has logged over 4,800 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft and has over 450 carrier landings.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in March 1992, Jett reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992.

After two years of various technical assignments in the Astronaut Office, Jett was assigned to his first mission as the pilot of STS-72. A year later he again served as pilot on STS-81.

From June 1997 to February 1998, he served as NASA Director of Operations at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia.

Two years later he flew as the Commander on STS-97. A veteran of three space missions, he has traveled over 12.1 million miles, and logged a total of 699 hours, 15 minutes and 57 seconds in space. Jett is currently assigned as the Commander of STS-115.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-72 Endeavour (January 11-20, 1996) was a 9-day flight during which the crew retrieved the Space Flyer Unit (launched from Japan 10-months earlier), deployed and retrieved the OAST-Flyer, and conducted two spacewalks to demonstrate and evaluate techniques to be used in the assembly of the International Space Station.

STS-81 Atlantis (January 12-22, 1997) was the fifth in a series of joint missions between the U.S. Space Shuttle and the Russian Space Station Mir and the second one involving an exchange of U.S. astronauts. In five days of docked operations more than three tons of food, water, experiment equipment and samples were moved back and forth between the two spacecraft.

STS-97 Endeavour (November 30 to December 2, 2000) was the fifth American mission to build and enhance the capabilities of the International Space Station. STS-97 delivered the first set of U.S.-provided solar arrays and batteries as well as radiators to provide cooling. Three spacewalks were conducted to complete assembly operations while the arrays were attached and unfurled. A communications system for voice and telemetry was also installed.

Last updated: October 2005

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