Ronald M. Sega bigraphy, stories - American astronaut

Ronald M. Sega : biography

December 4, 1952 -

Ronald "Ron" Michael Sega (also Ronald Šega) (Ph.D.) (born December 4, 1952) is professor of systems engineering and Vice President for Energy and the Environment at the Colorado State University Research Foundation, a non-profit advocacy organization supporting CSU. He is also the Vice President and Enterprise Executive for Energy and Environment at The Ohio State University. From August 2005 to August 2007, he served as Under Secretary of the Air Force. He is a retired Major General in the United States Air Force and a former NASA astronaut. Sega was born in Cleveland, Ohio, he is of Slovene origin. He was married to fellow astronaut Bonnie J. Dunbar. He is now married to Ann Sega and they have two sons.


Sega completed pilot training in 1976 and served as an Instructor Pilot at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, until 1979. From 1979 to 1982 he was on the faculty of the United States Air Force Academy in the physics department where he designed and constructed a laboratory facility to investigate microwave fields using infrared techniques while pursuing a doctorate in electrical engineering. In 1982 he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was promoted to associate professor in 1985, granted tenure in 1988, promoted to professor in 1990, and is currently on an extended leave of absence. From 1987 to 1988 he served as Technical Director, Lasers and Aerospace Mechanics Directorate, of the Frank J. Seiler Research Laboratory at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From 1989 to 1990, while on leave from the University of Colorado, he served as Research Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Houston, affiliated with the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, and is adjunct professor of physics. Sega is a co-principal investigator and mission director for the Wake Shield Facility (WSF) which has flown on Space Shuttle mission STS-60 in February 1994 and STS-76 in 1996. He has authored or co-authored over 100 technical publications.

As a pilot, Sega has logged over 4,000 hours in the Air Force, Air Force Reserves and NASA.

NASA career

Sega became an astronaut in July 1991 after selection in 1990. His technical assignments included:

  • working Remote Manipulator System (RMS) issues for the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch
  • supporting Orbiter software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL)
  • Chief of Astronaut Appearances
  • Science Support Group Lead
  • Space Station integration team
  • Astronaut Representative to the Space Station Science and Utilization Advisory Board (primarily an external board for NASA).

From November 1994 to March 1995, Sega was the NASA Director of Operations, Star City, Russia (The Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) responsible for managing NASA activities at Star City. These activities involved building an organization and infrastructure to support astronaut and cosmonaut mission and science training for flight on the Russian Space Station Mir. He also participated in training on Russian Space Systems and was the first American to train in the Russian EVA suit (Orlan) in their underwater facility (Hydrolaboratory). A veteran of two space flights (STS-60 in 1994 and STS-76 in 1996), Sega logged over 420 hours in space.

Space flight experience

STS-60 was the first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle mission. Launched on February 3, 1994, STS-60 was the second flight of the Space Habitation Module-2 (Spacehab-2), and the first flight of the Wake Shield Facility (WSF-1). During the 8-day flight, the crew of Discovery conducted a wide variety of biological, materials science, earth observation, and life science experiments. Sega was the flight engineer for ascent and entry on this mission, performed several experiments on orbit, and operated the robotic arm, berthing the Wake Shield onto its payload bay carrier on four separate occasions. Following 130 orbits of the Earth in 3,439,705 miles, STS-60 landed at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on February 11, 1994. With the completion of his first space flight, Sega logged 8 days, 7 hours, 9 minutes in space.

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