NAME: Andrew S. W. Thomas (Ph.D.) NASA Astronaut
PERSONAL DATA: Born December 18, 1951, in Adelaide, South Australia.
Single. He enjoys horse riding and jumping, mountain biking, running,
wind surfing, and classical guitar playing. His father, Adrian C. Thomas,
resides in Hackham, South Australia. His mother, Mary E. Thomas, resides
in North Adelaide, South Australia.
EDUCATION: Received a bachelor of engineering degree in mechanical
engineering, with First Class Honors, from the University of Adelaide,
South Australia, in 1973, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering
from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, in 1978.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics
EXPERIENCE: Dr. Thomas began his professional career as a research
scientist with the Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company, Marietta,
Georgia, in 1977. At that time he was responsible for experimental investigations
into the control of fluid dynamic instabilities and aircraft drag. In
1980, he was appointed Principal Aerodynamic Scientist to the company
and headed a research team examining various problems in advanced aerodynamics
and aircraft flight test.
This was followed in 1983 by an appointment as the head of the Advanced
Flight Sciences Department to lead a research department of engineers
and scientists engaged in experimental and computational studies in
fluid dynamics, aerodynamics and aeroacoustics. He was also manager
of the research laboratory, the wind tunnels, and the test facilities
used in these studies.
In 1987, Dr. Thomas was named manager of Lockheed's Flight Sciences
Division and directed the technical efforts in vehicle aerodynamics,
flight controls and propulsion systems that supported the company's
fleet of production aircraft. In 1989, he moved to Pasadena, California,
to join the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and, shortly after, was
appointed leader of the JPL program for microgravity materials processing
in space. This NASA-sponsored research included scientific investigations,
conducted in the laboratory and in low gravity on NASA's KC-135 aircraft,
as well as technology studies to support the development of the space
flight hardware for future Shuttle missions.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Dr. Thomas was selected by NASA in March 1992
and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. In August 1993,
following one year of training, he was appointed a member of the astronaut
corp and was qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on Space
Shuttle flight crews. While awaiting space flight assignment, Dr. Thomas
supported Shuttle launch and landing operations as an Astronaut Support
Person (ASP) at the Kennedy Space Center. He also provided technical
support to the Space Shuttle Main Engine project, the Solid Rocket Motor
project and the External Tank project at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
In June 1995, Dr. Thomas was named as payload commander for STS-77
and flew his first flight in space on Endeavour in May 1996. He next
trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia
in preparation for a long-duration flight. In 1998, he served as Board
Engineer 2 aboard the Russian Space Station Mir for 130 days. He is
in training for the STS-102 mission, targeted for launch in 2000.
STS-77 was a 10-day mission during which the crew deployed two satellites,
tested a large inflatable space structure on orbit and conducted a variety
of scientific experiments in a Spacehab laboratory module carried in
Endeavour's payload bay. The flight was launched from the Kennedy Space
Center on May 19, 1996 and completed 160 orbits 153 nautical miles above
the Earth while traveling 4.1 million miles and logging 240 hours and
39 minutes in space.
On January 22, 1998, Dr. Thomas launched aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour
as part of the STS-89 crew to dock with the Mir Space Station. He served
aboard Mir as Flight Engineer 2 and returned to Earth with the crew
of STS-91 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on June 12, 1998, completing
141 days in space and 2,250 orbits of the Earth.