Astronaut Biography: Richard A. Mastracchio

Astronaut Biography: Richard A. Mastracchio
NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, a mission specialist and spacewalker, dons a bright orange partial pressure launch and entry suit for a portrait.
(Image: © NASA)

NAME: Rick Mastracchio
NASA Astronaut

PERSONALDATA: BornFebruary 11, 1960 in Waterbury, Connecticut.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Crosby High School,Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1978; received a bachelor of science degree inelectrical engineering/computer science from the University of Connecticut in1982, a master of science of degree in electrical engineering from RensselaerPolytechnic Institute in 1987, and a master of science degree in physical sciencefrom the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1991.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member, Institute of Electrical andElectronics Engineers.

EXPERIENCE: Rick Mastracchio worked forHamilton Standard in Connecticut as an engineer in the system design group from1982 until 1987. During that time, he participated in the development of highperformance, strapped-down inertial measurement units and flight controlcomputers.

NASAEXPERIENCE: In1987, Mastracchio moved to Houston, Texas, to work for the Rockwell ShuttleOperations Company at the Johnson Space Center. In 1990, he joined NASA as an engineer in the Flight CrewOperations Directorate. His duties included the development of space shuttle flight softwarerequirements, the verification of space shuttle flight software in the ShuttleAvionics Integration Laboratory, and the development of ascent and abort crewprocedures for the Astronaut Office.

From 1993until 1996, he worked as an ascent/entry Guidance and Procedures Officer (GPO)in Mission Control. An ascent/entry GPO has both pre-mission and real timeSpace Shuttle support responsibilities in the areas of onboard guidance,navigation, and targeting. During that time, he supported seventeen missions asa flight controller.

In April1996, Mastracchio was selected as an Astronaut Candidate and started trainingin August 1996. Mastracchio has worked technical issues for the AstronautOffice Computer Support Branch, for Space Station Operations, and the EVABranch. He next served as lead for cockpit avionics upgrades. Mastracchio flewas a mission specialist on STS-106 and has logged over 283 hours in space.

Currently,he is assigned to the STS-118crew.

SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-106Atlantis (September 8-20, 2000). During the 12-day mission, the crewsuccessfully prepared the International SpaceStation for the arrival of the first permanent crew. The five astronautsand two cosmonauts delivered more than 6,600 pounds (2,993 kilograms) ofsupplies and installed batteries, power converters, a toilet and a treadmill onthe Space Station. Two crewmembers performed a space walk in order to connectpower, data and communications cables to the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module and the SpaceStation. Mastracchio was the ascent/entry flight engineer, the primary roboticarm operator, and responsible for the transfer of items from the Space Shuttleto the Space Station. STS-106 orbited the Earth 185 times, and covered 4.9million miles (7.8 million kilometers) in 11 days, 19 hours, and 10minutes.

LastUpdated: May 2006

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  • Complete Space Shuttle Mission Coverage


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