Charles J. Precourt bigraphy, stories - Astronauts

Charles J. Precourt : biography

June 29, 1955 -

Charles Joseph Precourt (born June 29, 1955) is a retired NASA astronaut. His career in flight began at an early age, and spans his entire lifetime. He served in the US Air Force, piloted numerous jet aircraft, and piloted and commanded the Space Shuttle. Notably, he piloted or commanded several missions which involved docking with the Russian Mir space station and was heavily involved in Russian/US Space relations as well as the International Space Station collaboration. He retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel.

Experience

Precourt graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, in 1978. Initially he flew as an instructor pilot in the T-37, and later as a maintenance test pilot in the T-37 and T-38 aircraft. From 1982 through 1984, he flew an operational tour in the F-15 Eagle Eagle at Bitburg Air Base in Germany. In 1985 he attended the United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Upon graduation, Precourt was assigned as a test pilot at Edwards, where he flew the F-15E, F-4 Phantom II, A-7 Corsair II, and A-37 Dragonfly aircraft until mid 1989, when he began studies at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon graduation from the War College, Precourt joined the astronaut program. His flight experience includes over 7,500 hours in over 60 types of civil and military aircraft. He holds commercial pilot, multi-engine instrument, glider and certified flight instructor ratings. Precourt retired from the Air Force on March 31, 2000.

Special honors

Military decorations include:

number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Legion of Merit ribbon.svg|width=60}} Legion of Merit
number=1|type=oak|ribbon=US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg|width=60}} Defense Superior Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster)
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg|width=60}} Distinguished Flying Cross
number=1|type=oak|ribbon=Meritorious Service ribbon.svg|width=60}} Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster)
  • Distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and the United States Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award
  • Air Training Command Trophy Winner as the outstanding graduate of his pilot training class (1978)
  • Recipient of the David B. Barnes Award as the Outstanding Instructor Pilot at the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (1989)

NASA awards include:

number=0|type=oak|ribbon=NasaDisRib.gif|width=60}} NASA Distinguished Service Medal
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=USA - NASA Excep Rib.png|width=60}} NASA Exceptional Service Medal and

number=3|type=oak|ribbon=SpaceFltRib.gif|width=60}} NASA Space Flight Medal (with three oak leaf clusters)

Charles Precourt was inducted into the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 5, 2012 Collect Space in a ceremony that took place the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Personal life

He is married to the former Lynne Denise Mungle of St. Charles, Missouri, who works with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, and coordinates many charity and volunteer events. They have three daughters, Michelle, Sarah, and Aimee. Precourt and his wife enjoy golfing, downhill skiing, and flying light aircraft.

He flies a Varieze, an experimental aircraft that he built. His daughters have also pursued successful educational careers:

  • Michelle graduated from Rice University in 2003, and is currently pursuing an MD/PhD degree in public health policy from the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health.
  • Sarah graduated from the University of Texas in 2005, where she earned a degree in applied learning and development with a minor in psychology, and is currently living in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Aimee graduated from Stanford University in 2008, where she competed for the Women's Gymnastics team, and is currently pursuing an MD degree at the University of Michigan Medical School.
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