Astronaut Biography: Steven Swanson

Astronaut Biography: Steven Swanson
NASA astronaut Steven Swanson, mission specialist, poses for an official portrait. (Image credit: NASA.)

NAME: Steven R. Swanson
NASA Astronaut (MissionSpecialist)

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

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

EDUCATION: Graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in 1979; received a bachelor ofscience 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 ExceptionalAchievement Medal, the JSC Certificate of Accommodation, Flight SimulationEngineering Award, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

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

NASA EXPERIENCE: In 1987, Steve joined NASA as a systems engineer in the AircraftOperations Division of JSC working on the Shuttle Training Aircraft. TheShuttle Training Aircraft (STA) is a complex airborne shuttle simulator, whichmodels the flight characteristics of the Shuttle from 35,000 ft. to main geartouchdown.

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

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

After completing Astronaut Candidate training, whichincludes intensive instruction in Shuttleand InternationalSpace Station systems, Steve was assigned to the Astronaut Office SpaceStation Operations Branch.

Steve has also worked in the Astronaut OfficeRobotics Branch and is now currently assigned as a CAPCOM (spacecraftcommunicator). Steve has also completed the advance training for EVA, theShuttle and ISS robotic arms, and Shuttle rendezvous. He is assigned to the crewof STS-117.

Last updated: February 2006

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