Astronaut Biography: Steven MacLean
A NASA portrait of Canadian Space Agency astronaut Steven MacLean.
Credit: NASA/JSC.

NAME: Steven "Steve" Glenwood MacLean (Ph.D.)
Astronaut, Canadian Space Agency

PERSONAL DATA: Born December 14, 1954, in Ottawa, Ontario, Steve MacLean is married, with children.

EDUCATION: Attended primary and secondary schools in Ottawa. Received a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physics in 1977 and a Doctorate in Physics in 1983 from York University in Toronto, Ontario.

SPECIAL HONORS: Recipient of the President's Award (Murray G. Ross Award) at York University (1977), a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarship (1980), two Ontario Graduate Scholarships (1981, 1982) and a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (1983). Honorary Doctorate of Science from the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean, Quebec, another from York University, Toronto, and a third from Acadia University, Halifax.

EXPERIENCE: From 1974 until 1976, Steve MacLean worked in sports administration and public relations at York University, and competed with the Canadian National Gymnastics Team from 1976 to 1977. He taught part-time at York University from 1980 until 1983, and then became a visiting scholar at Stanford University under the renowned laser physicist and Nobel Laureate A.L. Shawlow. As a laser physicist himself, MacLean's research has included work on electro-optics, laser-induced fluorescence of particles and crystals, and multi-photon laser spectroscopy.

Selected as one of the first six Canadian astronauts in December 1983, MacLean began astronaut training in February 1984. From 1987 to 1993 MacLean was the Program Manager for the Advanced Space Vision System (ASVS), a computer-based camera system designed to provide guidance data that enhances the control of both Canadarm and Canadarm2. In addition he was the Program Manager for the first prototype of the Laser Camera System that now flies as part of the Inspection Sensor System on the shuttle.

From 1988 to 1991 he also assumed the role of Astronaut Advisor to the Strategic Technologies in Automation and Robotics (STEAR) Program.

From October 22 to November 1, 1992, Steve MacLean flew onboard Space Shuttle Columbia as a Payload Specialist for Mission STS-52. During this mission, he performed a set of seven experiments known as CANEX-2, which included the evaluation of the Space Vision System.

MacLean was the Chief Science Advisor for the International Space Station from 1993 until 1994, when he was appointed Director General of the Canadian Astronaut Program for two years.

In August 1996 MacLean began mission specialist training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. After successfully completing basic training in 1998, he continued with advanced training while fulfilling technical duties in the NASA Astronaut Office Robotics Branch. More recently MacLean served as CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) for both the International Space Station (ISS) Program and the Shuttle Program, at the Johnson Space Center.

In February 2002 Steve MacLean was assigned to his second space flight. He will visit the ISS as a crewmember of Mission STS-115. MacLean will become the first Canadian to operate Canadarm2 when the crew adds trusses to the Station and deploys solar array panels. Steve MacLean will be the second Canadian to walk in space.

Last updated: May 2006

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