Bryan D. O'Connor : biography
Bryan Daniel O'Connor (born September 6, 1946) is a retired United States Marine Corps Colonel and former NASA astronaut.
STS-61-B Atlantis (November 26, to December 3, 1985). STS-61-B was the 22nd Shuttle flight and was the second-ever night shuttle launch from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. It was the heaviest payload weight carried to orbit by the Space Shuttle to date, and the first flight to deploy four satellites. The mission included the EASE/ACCESS experiment. After completing 108 orbits of the earth in 165 hours, Atlantis returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
STS-40 Columbia (June 5–14, 1991). STS-40/SLS-1 was the first Space Shuttle mission dedicated to life science studies. During the 9-day mission the crew performed an extensive series of biomedical experiments. After 145 orbits of the Earth traveling 3.29 million miles in 218 hours, O'Connor piloted Columbia to a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, his crew having safely and successfully completed over 100% of their mission objectives.
Born in Orange, California, he considers Twentynine Palms, California to be his hometown. Bryan and his wife Susie have two sons, Thomas and Kevin. His son Thomas is veteran as well, serving in the Marine Corps and Army National Guard in the rank of First Lieutenant (Promotable). The O'Connor family enjoys hiking, scuba diving, music, and travel.
Graduated from Twentynine Palms High School in Twentynine Palms, California in 1964; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (minor in Aeronautical Engineering) from the United States Naval Academy in 1968 and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Systems from the University of West Florida in 1970. He graduated from the Naval Safety School at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California in 1972 and from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland in 1976.
O'Connor began active duty with the United States Marine Corps in June 1968 following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He received his Naval Aviator wings in June 1970, and served as an attack pilot flying the A-4 Skyhawk and the AV-8A Harrier on land and sea assignments in the United States, Europe and the Western Pacific.
O'Connor attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 1975 and served as a test pilot with the Naval Air Test Center's Strike Test Directorate at Patuxent River, Maryland. During this 3½ year assignment, he participated in evaluations of various conventional and VSTOL aircraft, including the A-4, OV-10, AV-8, and X-22 VSTOL research aircraft. From June 1977 to June 1979 he was the Naval Air Test Center project officer in charge of all Harrier flight testing, including the planning and execution of the First Navy Preliminary Evaluation of the YAV-8B advanced Harrier prototype. When informed of his selection to NASA's Astronaut Program in 1980, he was serving as the Deputy Program Manager (Acquisition) for the AV-8 program at the Naval Air Systems Command in Washington, D.C.
Awards and honors
Naval Safety School Top Graduate; Naval Test Pilot School Distinguished Graduate Award; Defense Superior Service Medal (2); Distinguished Flying Cross; Navy Meritorious Service Medal; NASA Distinguished Service Medal; NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (2); NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2); NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal; NASA Silver Snoopy Award; AIAA System Effectiveness and Safety Award; AIAA Barry M. Goldwater Education Award; Aviation Week & Space Technology Laureate (Space and Missiles). Scheduled to be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2008., retrieved 2008-03-25, retrieved 2008-03-25
O'Connor was selected as an astronaut in May 1980. After a one-year initial training program at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, O'Connor served in a variety of functions in support of the first test flights of the Space Shuttle, including simulator test pilot for STS-1 and STS-2, safety/photo chase pilot for STS-3, and support crew for STS-4. He was CAPCOM (spacecraft communicator) for STS-5 through STS-9. He also served as Aviation Safety Officer for the NASA Astronaut Corps.
In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine