Michael Fincke bigraphy, stories - Astronauts

Michael Fincke : biography

March 14, 1967 -

Edward Michael "Mike"/"Spanky" Fincke

(born 14 March 1967) is an American Astronaut, and he currently holds the American record for the most time in space (381.6 days). He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but considers its suburb Emsworth, Pennsylvania to be his hometown. He is a United States Air Force officer and a NASA astronaut, and served two tours aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer and commander. He flew on one Space Shuttle mission, STS-134 as a Mission Specialist.  Fincke is conversant in Japanese and Russian. He is married to Renita Saikia and together, they have three children; son Chandra and daughters Tarali and Surya.  

Fincke logged just under 382 days in space, placing him first among American astronauts for the most time in space, and 19th overall. He completed nine spacewalks in Russian Orlan spacesuits and American EMUs. His total EVA time is 48 hours and 37 minutes placing him 6th all time on the list of spacewalkers.

Career

Immediately after graduating from MIT in 1989, Fincke attended a summer exchange program with the Moscow Aviation Institute in the former Soviet Union, where he studied Cosmonautics. After graduation from Stanford University in 1990, Fincke entered the United States Air Force where he was assigned to the Air Force Space and Missiles Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base in California. There he served as a Space Systems Engineer and a Space Test Engineer. In 1994, upon completion of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base in California, Fincke joined the 39th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where he served as a Flight Test Engineer working on a variety of flight test programs, flying the F-16 and F-15 aircraft. In January 1996, he reported to the Gifu Test Center, Gifu Air Base in Japan where he was the United States Flight Test Liaison to the Japanese/United States XF-2 fighter program. Fincke has over 800 flight hours in more than 30 different varieties of aircraft and holds the rank of Colonel. Fincke belongs to the Geological Society of America and the British Interplanetary Society.

Education

Fincke graduated from Sewickley Academy in Sewickley, Pennsylvania in 1985. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in aeronautics and astronautics as well as a Bachelor of Science in Earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences. He then received a Master of Science in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in 1990 and a second Master of Science in planetary geology from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 2001. He also attended El Camino College in Torrance, California, where he studied Japanese and Geology.

NASA career

Fincke was selected by NASA in April 1996 to be an astronaut. He reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch serving as an International Space Station Spacecraft Communicator (ISS CAPCOM), a member of the Crew Test Support Team in Russia and as the ISS crew procedures team lead.

In July 1999, Fincke was assigned as backup crewmember for the International Space Station Expedition 4 crew. Additionally he served as a backup for the ISS Expedition 6 crew and is qualified to fly as a left-seat Flight Engineer (co-pilot) on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He was the commander of the second NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO 2) mission, living and working underwater for 7 days in May 2002.

Expedition 9

Gennady Palalka performs an [[ultrasound exam on Fincke during Expedition 9.]] Fincke was the space station science officer and flight engineer for ISS Expedition 9 from 18 April through 23 October 2004. Expedition 9 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft, and docked with the International Space Station on 21 April 2004. Fincke spent six-months aboard the ISS continuing ISS science operations, maintaining station systems, and performing four spacewalks. The Expedition-9 mission concluded with undocking from the station and safe landing back in Kazakhstan on October 23, 2004. Fincke completed his first mission in 187 days, 21 hours and 17 minutes, and logged a total of 15 hours, 45 minutes and 22 seconds of EVA time in four spacewalks.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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