Astronaut Biography: Daniel Tani

Astronaut Biography: Daniel M. Tani
Veteran NASA astronaut Daniel Tani poses in a U.S. spacesuit for a preflight portrait.
(Image: © NASA.)

NAME:Daniel M. Tani
NASA Astronaut

PERSONALDATA: Born February 1, 1961 in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, but considers Lombard, Illinois, to be his hometown. Married to the former Jane Egan from Cork, Ireland. Theyhave two children. He enjoys golf, flying, running, tennis, music, cooking. Hismother, Rose Tani, resides in Lombard, Illinois. His father, Henry N. Tani, isdeceased.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Glenbard East High School, Lombard, Illinois, in 1979; received a bachelor and a master of sciencedegree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) in 1984 and 1988, respectively.

AWARDS: Honorary Doctorate of Science, Elmhurst College (IL) 2003. Recipient of the 2003 Excellence Award inScience and Technology from the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce. Recipientof the Japanese-American Citizen League?s Nikkei of the Biennium for Scienceand Technology, 2002. NASA spaceflight medal, 2001. Orbital SciencesCorporation Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, 1993.

EXPERIENCE: After Tani received his bachelor?sdegree from MIT, he worked at Hughes Aircraft Corporation in El Segundo, California as a design engineer in the Space and Communications group.In 1986, he returned to MIT and received his master?s degree in mechanicalengineering in 1988, specializing in human factors and group decision making.After graduation, Tani worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the experimental psychology department. In 1988, Tanijoined Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) in Dulles, Virginia, initially as asenior structures engineer, and then as the mission operations manager for theTransfer Orbit Stage (TOS). In that role, he served as the TOS flightoperations lead, working with NASA/JSC mission control in support of thedeployment of the ACTS/ TOS payload during the STS-51 mission in September1993. Tani then moved to the Pegasus program at OSC as the launch operationsmanager. In that capacity, he served as lead for the development of proceduresand constraints for the launching of the air launched Pegasus unmanned rocket. Tanialso was responsible for defining, training, and leading the team of engineerswho worked in the launch and control room.

NASAEXPERIENCE:Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, Tani reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completedtwo years of training and evaluation, he qualified for flight assignment as amission specialist in 1998. He held technical duties in the Astronaut OfficeComputer Support Branch, and EVA Branch and has served as a Crew SupportAstronaut (CSA) for Expedition-4. Tani flew on STS-108 in 2001, and has loggedover 11 days in space, including over 4 EVA hours in one space walk. In 2002,he was a crewmember on the Aquarius undersea research habitat for 9 days aspart of the NEEMO-2 mission (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations). Tanithen trained and qualified as the backup flight engineer for Expedition 11,which launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-6 in April 2005. He is currently assignedas a flight engineer for Expeditions 15 and 16. He will launch to theInternational Space Station (ISS) aboard STS-120 and will return aboardSTS-122, living and working for several months on the ISS. During that time hewill perform 3 spacewalks and numerous robotic operations in support of theinstallation and checkout of Node-2.

SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-108 Endeavour (December 5-17, 2001) was the 12th shuttle flight tovisit the International Space Station. During the mission Tani served as MS-2. Endeavour?s crew delivered theExpedition-4 crew and returned the Expedition-3 crew. The crew unloaded over 3tons of supplies, logistics and science experiments from the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module.Tani performed a space walk to wrap thermal blankets around ISS Solar ArrayGimbals. STS-108 was accomplished in 185 Earth orbits, traveling 4.8 millionmiles in 283 hours and 36 minutes, including an EVA of 4 hours and 12 minutes.

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