Astronaut Biography: Rex J. Walheim

Astronaut Biography: Rex J. Walheim
NASA astronaut Rex Walheim poses for a photo portrait while clad in his orange launch and entry suit.
(Image: © NASA.)

NAME: Rex J. Walheim (Colonel, U.S.AirForce)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONALDATA: BornOctober 10, 1962, in Redwood City, California, but considers San Carlos,California his hometown. Married to the former Margie Dotson of Villa Park,California. They have two children. He enjoys snow skiing, hiking, softball andfootball. His father, Lawrence M. Walheim, Jr., resides in Exeter, California.His mother, Avis L. Walheim is deceased.

EDUCATION: Graduated from San Carlos HighSchool, San Carlos, California in 1980; received a bachelor of science degreein mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984,and a master of science degree in industrial engineering from the University ofHouston in 1989.

SPECIALHONORS:Distinguished Graduate, Reserve Officers Training Corps, University ofCalifornia, Berkeley. Distinguished Graduate and top flight test engineer inUSAF Test Pilot School Class 92A. Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Air ForceCommendation Medals, Aerial Achievement Medal, and various service awards.

EXPERIENCE: Walheim was commissioned as asecond lieutenant in the Air Force in May 1984. In April of 1985 he wasassigned to Cavalier Air Force Station in Cavalier, North Dakota, where heworked as a missile warning operations crew commander.

In October1986, he was reassigned to the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, where heworked as a mechanical systems flight controller and was the lead operationsengineer for the Space Shuttle landing gear, brakes, and emergency runwaybarrier. Walheim was transferred to Headquarters Air Force Space Command inColorado Springs, Colorado, in August 1989, where he was manager of a programupgrading missile warning radars.

He wasselected for the flight test engineer course at USAF Test Pilot School in 1991,and attended the course at Edwards AFB California in 1992. Following hisgraduation, he was assigned to the F-16 Combined Test Force at Edwards where hewas a project manager, and then commander of the avionics and armament flight.In January 1996, Walheim became an instructor at USAF Test Pilot School, wherehe served until he commenced astronaut training.

NASAEXPERIENCE:Walheim served as a flight controller and operations engineer at the JohnsonSpace Center from October 1986 to January 1989. He was selected by NASA inMarch 1996 and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996.

Aftercompleting two years of training and evaluation, he qualified for flightassignment as a mission specialist. Initially, Walheim was assigned technicalduties in the Astronaut Office Space Station Operations Branch, where he helpeddevelop the initial procedures and displays used on the space station, andserved as a Capcom in the Mission Control Center.

He served onthe EVA crew of STS-110 (2002) and has logged over 259 hours in space,including over 14 EVA hours. After his first flight, he was assigned to the EVAbranch, where he served as the astronaut office representative for the ExtraVehicular Mobility Unit, (the EVA spacesuit). Walheim is assigned to the STS-122mission that will deliver the European Space Agency?s Columbus Laboratory to the InternationalSpace Station.

SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-110Atlantis (April 8-19, 2002) was the 13th Shuttle mission to visit theInternational Space Station. Mission milestones included: the delivery andinstallation of the SO (S-Zero) Truss; the first time the station?s robotic armwas used to maneuver spacewalkers around the station; and the first time thatall of a shuttle crew?s spacewalks were based from the station?s Quest Airlock. Walheim performed 2 EVAstotaling 14 hours and 5 minutes. The crew mechanically attached and powered upthe new truss, and spent a week in joint operations with the station?sExpedition-4 crew. Mission duration was 10 days, 19 hours and 42 minutes.

LastUpdated: July 2006

  • VIDEO: Rex Walheim: STS-110 Mission Specialist
  • IMAGES: STS-110 Atlantis Photo Album
  • Complete Coverage: NASA's STS-110 Shuttle Mission
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