NASA Astronaut Biographies- R
NAME: William F. Readdy (Mr)
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born January 24, 1952, in Quonset Point, Rhode Island,
but considers Mclean, Virginia to be his hometown. His father, Capt. Francis
J. Readdy, USN (Ret.), resides in McLean. His mother, Mrs. Peggy J. Readdy, is
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; blue eyes; height: 6 feet; weight: 185
EDUCATION: Graduated from McLean High School, McLean, Virginia, in 1970;
received a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering (with honors)
from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974.
MARITAL STATUS: Married to Colleen Nevius. Her parents, Capt. & Mrs. William
Nevius, USN (Ret.), reside in Camarillo, California.
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys sailing, racquet sports, soaring.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
SPECIAL HONORS: Recipient of the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Expeditionary
medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and
various unit and service awards. Distinguished graduate, U.S. Naval Test Pilot
School. U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Instructor of the Year (1984).
EXPERIENCE: Readdy graduated from Annapolis in 1974, and was designated a
Naval Aviator in September 1975 at Beeville, Texas. Following replacement
training in the A-6 Intruder at VA-42 NAS Oceana, Virginia, he joined Attack
Squadron 85 aboard USS FORRESTAL deployed to the North Atlantic and
Mediterranean from 1976 until 1980. Upon completion of the U.S. Naval Test
Pilot School, Patuxent River, Maryland, he served as A-6 Program Manager and
Project Pilot on a variety of test programs while assigned to the Strike
Aircraft Test Directorate. Following a short tour as an instructor pilot at
the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he reported, in 1984, to the USS CORAL SEA,
on Caribbean and Mediterranean deployments as a strike operations officer,
flying A-6 and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. In October 1986 Readdy accepted a
reserve commission to join NASA as a research pilot. He is affiliated with the
U.S. Naval Reserve, in which he currently holds the rank of Commander, and is
assigned as an instructor pilot in the A-6 Intruder flying from Naval Air
Station Oceana, Virginia.
He has logged over 4,500 flying hours in over 50 types of fixed wing and
helicopters and over 550 carrier landings.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Readdy joined NASA's Johnson Space Center in October 1986 as
an aerospace engineer and instructor pilot at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas.
Prior to his selection for the astronaut program, he served as Program Manager
for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA
in June 1987, Readdy became an astronaut in August 1988, qualified for
assignment as a pilot on future Space Shuttle flight crews. His technical
assignments to date include various Orbiter sub-systems, particularly the
Auxiliary Power Units (APU), fuel cells, and electrical power and distribution
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Readdy is currently assigned as a mission specialist on
the crew of STS-42, the first International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-1) and
is also detailed to the Orbiter Project staff overseeing the construction of
OV-105 and various Orbiter modifications and program improvements.
NAME: Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr. (Commander, USN)
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born March 24, 1951, in Patuxent River,
Maryland, but considers Virginia Beach, Virginia, to be his hometown.
His parents, Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth S. Reightler, Sr., reside in Virginia
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; blue eyes; height: 6 feet 1 inch;
weight: 160 pounds.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Bayside High School, Virginia Beach,
Virginia, in 1969; received a bachelor of science degree in Aerospace
Engineering from U.S. Naval Academy in 1973, and master of science
degrees, in 1984, in Aeronautical Engineering from U.S. Naval
Postgraduate School, and in Systems Management from University of
MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Maureen Ellen McHenry of
Virginia Beach, Virginia. Her mother, Mrs. Jean W. McHenry, resides
in Virginia Beach. Her father, Cdr. William H. McHenry, USN, is
CHILDREN: Katherine McHenry, November 24, 1978; Emily Harrison,
February 7, 1984.
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys sailing, wind surfing, camping.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, U.S.
Naval Academy Alumni Association.
SPECIAL HONORS: MacShort Award in Aviation from U.S. Naval Academy
(1973), Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious
Unit Commendation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense
Service Medal. Distinguished graduate, U.S. Naval Academy and U.S.
Naval Test Pilot School.
EXPERIENCE: Reightler graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973,
and was designated a naval aviator in August 1974 at Corpus Christi,
Texas. After replacement pilot training in the P-3C airplane, he
reported to Patrol Squadron Sixteen in Jacksonville, Florida, serving
as both a Mission Commander and Patrol Plane Commander. He made
deployments to Keflavik, Iceland, and to Sigonella, Sicily. Following
jet transition training, Reightler attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot
School at Patuxent River, Maryland. Upon graduation in 1978, he
remained at the Naval Air Test Center (NATC) where he served as test
pilot and project officer for a variety of flight test programs
involving the P-3, S-3, and T-39 airplanes. He returned to the Test
Pilot School, serving as a flight test instructor and safety officer
flying the P-3, T-2, OV-1, T-39, and TA-7 airplanes. In June 1981
Reightler was assigned to USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) as
Communications Officer and COD pilot, making two deployments to the
Mediterranean Sea. Selected for postgraduate education, he attended
the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Redesignated
an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer (AEDO) he was sent to transition
training for the F/A-18 airplane with Strike Fighter Squadron 125
(VFA-125) at NAS Lemoore, California. He then reported for duty to
the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in March 1985, serving as Senior
Airborne Systems Instructor Pilot and later as Chief Flight Instructor
until his selection for the astronaut program. He has logged 4,000
hours flying time in over 60 different types of aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in June 1987, Reightler completed a
one year training and evaluation program in August 1988, which
qualified him for assignment as a pilot on future Space Shuttle flight
crews. His technical assignments to date have included: Flight Crew
Operations Directorate Representative to the Program Requirements
Control Board; weather coordinator for Space Shuttle launches and
landings; Astronaut Office Representative in the areas of Ascent,
Entry, and Aborts; and Lead Astronaut for flight software development
and computer systems.
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Commander Reightler is assigned as pilot on the
five-man crew of STS-48. This five day mission is intended to deploy
the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) from a unique
high-altitude high-inclination orbit.
NAME: Richard (Dick) N. Richards (Captain, USN)
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born August 24, 1946, in Key West, Florida, but
considers St Louis, Missouri, to be his hometown. His mother, Mrs.
Marjorie Richards, resides in St Louis.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Red hair, blue eyes; height: 5 feet 8 inches;
weight: 160 pounds.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Riverview Gardens High School in St Louis,
Missouri, in 1964; received a bachelor of science degree in Chemical
Engineering from the University of Missouri in 1969 and a master of
science in Aeronautical Systems from the University of West Florida in
MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Lois Hollabaugh of Amarillo,
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys skiing, running, and racquetball.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Tau
Beta Pi, Engineering Honorary; and Lambda Chi Alpha, Social
SPECIAL HONORS: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service
Medal, Distinguished Graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and
Naval Air Test Center Test Pilot of the Year for 1980, and the NASA
Space Flight Medal.
EXPERIENCE: Richards was commissioned an Ensign in the United States
Navy upon graduating from the University of Missouri in 1969 and was
designated a Naval Aviator in August of the following year. From 1970
to 1973, he flew support missions in the A-4 Skyhawk and F-4 Phantom
airplanes while assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron
Thirty-Three at NAS Norfolk, Virginia. He subsequently reported to
Fighter Squadron 103 and deployed to the North Atlantic and
Mediterranean aboard USS AMERICA (CV-66) and USS SARATOGA (CV-61),
flying F-4 airplanes. Selected for test pilot training, he reported
to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, in
1976. A tour in the Naval Air Test Center's Carrier Systems Branch
and F/A-18A Program Office of the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate
followed test pilot school graduation. Over the next 3-1/2 years,
Richards served as project test pilot for automatic carrier landing
systems development work in F-4 and A-7 aircraft and also conducted
approach/landing/catapult flying qualities and catapult minimum
endspeed performance testing of a prototype "slatted" F-45 airplane.
As carrier suitability project officer for the F/A-18A Hornet
airplane, he made the first shipboard catapults and arrested landings
during Initial Sea Trials of the F/A-18A onboard the USS AMERICA in
1979. He was reassigned to Fighter Squadron 33 in May 1980 and was en
route to that assignment when notified of his selection as an
Flight experience has included over 4,400 hours in 16 different types
of airplanes. He has completed more than 400 landings onboard various
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in May
1980, Richards became an Astronaut in August 1981. Richards has flown
twice, on STS-28, August 8-13, 1989, and on STS-41, October 6-10,
On his first space flight, Richards was pilot on the crew of STS-28
which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 8, 1989.
The mission carried Department of Defense payloads and a number of
secondary payloads. After 80 orbits of the earth, this five day
mission concluded with a dry lakebed landing on Runway 17 at Edwards
Air Force Base, California, on August 13, 1989. Mission duration was
121 hours 9 seconds.
Slightly more than one year later, Richards commanded the crew of
STS-41. The five man crew launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery
on October 6 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and landed at Edwards
Air Force Base, California, on October 10, 1990. During 66 orbits of
the earth the STS-41 crew successfully deployed the Ulysses
spacecraft, starting this interplanetary probe on its four year
journey, via Jupiter, to investigate the polar regions of the Sun;
operated the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet instrument (SSBUV)
to map atmospheric ozone levels; activated a controlled "fire in
space" experiment (the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE));
and conducted numerous other middeck experiments involving radiation
measurements, polymer membrane production and microgravity
With the completion of his second space mission, Richards has logged a
total of 219 hours 10 minutes 13 seconds in space.
NAME: Jerry L. Ross (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF)
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born January 20, 1948, in Crown Point, Indiana. His
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Donald J. Ross, reside in Crown Point.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; green eyes; height: 5 feet 10 inches;
weight: 180 pounds.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Crown Point High School, Crown Point, Indiana, in
1966; received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in Mechanical
Engineering from Purdue University in 1970 and 1972, respectively.
MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Karen S. Pearson of Sheridan, Indiana.
Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Morris D. Pearson, reside in Sheridan, Indiana.
CHILDREN: Amy J., March 30, 1971; Scott L., April 27, 1972.
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys softball, racquetball, woodworking,
photography, model rocketry, and flying.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the Air Force Association, Pi Tau Sigma; and a
lifetime member of the Purdue Alumni Association.
SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak
Leaf Cluster; named a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School and
recipient of the Outstanding Flight Test Engineer Award, Class 75B; presented
the Air Force Systems Command Technical Achievement and Scientific Achievement
Awards (1974); and named Air Force Aero-Propulsion Laboratory Junior Officer of
the Year in 1974. Recipient of NASA Space Flight Medal (1985). Awarded the
American Astronautical Society, Victor A. Prather Award (1985).
EXPERIENCE: Ross, an Air Force ROTC student at Purdue University, received his
commission upon graduation in 1970. After receiving his master's degree from
Purdue in 1972, he entered active duty with the Air Force and was assigned to
the Ramjet Engine Division of Air Force Aero-Propulsion Laboratory at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. While there, he conducted
computer-aided design studies on ramjet and mixed cycle propulsion systems and
served as the project engineer for captive tests of a supersonic ramjet missile
using a rocket sled track. He also served as project manager for preliminary
configuration development of the ASALM strategic air-launched missile and, from
June 1974 to July 1975, was Laboratory Executive Officer and Chief of the
Management Operations Office. Ross graduated from the USAF Test Pilot School's
Flight Test Engineer Course in 1976 and was subsequently assigned to the 6510th
Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base, California. While on assignment to the
6510th's Flight Test Engineering Directorate, he was project engineer on a
limited flying qualities evaluation of the RC-135S aircraft and, as lead B-1
flying qualities flight test engineer, was responsible for the stability and
control and flight control system testing performed on the B-1 aircraft. He
was also responsible, as chief B-1 flight test engineer, for training and
supervising all Air Force B-1 flight test engineer crew members and for
performing the mission planning for the B-1 offensive avionics test
aircraft. He also served as the Flight Test Engineering Directorate flight
Ross has flown in 21 different types of aircraft, holds a private pilot's
license, and has logged more than 1,800 flying hours -- the majority of it in
NASA EXPERIENCE: In February 1979, Ross was assigned to the Payload Operations
Division at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center as a payload officer/flight
controller. In this capacity, he was responsible for the flight operations
integration of payloads into the Space Shuttle.
Ross was selected as an astronaut in May 1980. His technical assignments
since then have included EVA, RMS, and chase team. He was the support crewman
for STS 41-B, 41-C and 51-A. He was a CAPCOM during STS 41-B, 41-C, 41-D, 51-A
Ross was a mission specialist on STS 61-B which launched at night from Kennedy
Space Center, Florida, on November 26, 1985. Aboard the Orbiter Atlantis was
Brewster Shaw (spacecraft commander), Bryan O9Connor (pilot), fellow mission
specialists, Mary Cleave and Woody Spring, as well as payload specialists,
Rodolfo Neri Vela (Mexico), and Charles Walker (McDonnell Douglas). During the
mission the crew deployed the MORELOS-B, AUSSAT II, and SATCOM Ku-2
communications satellites, conducted two 6-hour space walks to demonstrate
Space Station construction techniques with the EASE/ACCESS experiments,
operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis (CFES) experiment for McDonnell
Douglas and a Getaway Special (GAS) container for Telesat, Canada, conducted
several Mexican Payload Specialist Experiments for the Mexican Government, and
tested the Orbiter Experiments Digital Autopilot (OEX DAP). This was the
heaviest payload weight carried to orbit by the Space Shuttle to date. After
completing 108 orbits of the Earth in 165 hours, STS 61-B Atlantis landed on
Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 3, 1985.
During 1986 and 1987, Ross helped develop the Space Station assembly concepts
and EVA operational design. He served as a technical advisor to the Space
Station Work Package 3 Source Selection Board. He also was a prime participant
in the development and evaluation of the new, higher pressure, space suit and
Ross then flew as a mission specialist on the crew of STS-27, on board the
Orbiter Atlantis, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on
December 2, 1988. The mission carried a Department of Defense payload, as well
as a number of secondary payloads. After 68 orbits of the earth in 105 hours,
the mission concluded with a dry lakebed landing on Runway 17 at Edwards Air
Force Base, California, on December 6, 1988.
With the completion of this flight he has logged a total of 270 hours in space,
including over 12 hours on two space walks.
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Lt. Col. Ross is in flight training as a mission
specialist on the crew of STS-37. Scheduled for launch in the Spring of 1990,
this mission will feature the deployment of the Gamma Ray Observatory for the
purpose of exploring gamma ray sources throughout the universe.
NAME: Mario Runco, Jr. (Lieutenant Commander, USN)
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: January 26, 1952, in Bronx, New York, but considers
Yonkers, New York, to be his hometown. His parents, Mario & Filomena Runco,
reside in Yonkers.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; hazel eyes; height: 6 feet; weight: 155
EDUCATION: Graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx, New York, in
1970; received a bachelor of science degree in Meteorology and Physical
Oceanography from the City College of New York in 1974, and a master of science
degree in Meteorology from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in
MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Susan Kay Friess of Sylvania, Ohio. Her
parents Frederick & Margaret Friess, reside in Sylvania.
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys ice hockey, softball, racquet ball, snow
skiing, camping, hiking, and astronomy. He played intercollegiate ice hockey
on the City College of New York and Rutgers University teams, and is an
intermediate level hang glider pilot.
ORGANIZATIONS: City College of New York Alumni Association.
SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Battle Efficiency
Ribbon, 2 Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and the Navy Pistol Expert Medal. As
an undergraduate, he was awarded the City College of New York Class of 1938
Athletic Service Award (1973).
EXPERIENCE: After graduating from Rutgers University, Runco worked for a year
as a research hydrologist conducting ground water surveys for the U.S.
Geological Survey on Long Island, New York. In 1977, he joined the New Jersey
State Police and, after completing training at the New Jersey State Police
Academy, he worked as a New Jersey State Trooper until he entered the Navy in
June 1978. Upon completion of Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode
Island, in September 1978, he was commissioned and assigned to the Naval
Environmental Prediction Research Facility in Monterey, California, as a
research meteorologist to develop tactical environmental support decision
aids. From April 1981 to December 1983 he served as Geophysics Officer aboard
the Amphibious Assault Ship USS NASSAU (LHA-4). It was during this tour of
duty that he earned the designation as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer. In
January 1984, he was assigned to the Naval Oceanography Command Detachment on
the campus of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he
was an instructor at the Navy Geophysics Technical Readiness Laboratory. In
December 1985, he assumed command of Oceanographic Unit Four, embarked in the
Naval Survey Vessel USNS CHAUVENET (T-AGS 29), to conduct hydrographic and
oceanographic surveys of the Java Sea and Indian Ocean. After his tour as
Commanding Officer of Oceanographic Unit Four, he reported to the Naval Western
Oceanography Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he was assigned as Fleet
Environmental Services Officer until his selection to the astronaut program.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Runco was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in June
1987 and, in August, commenced a one year training and evaluation program,
completion of which will qualify him for subsequent assignment as a mission
specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews.
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