Space

June 18, 2014

NASA astronauts David Leestma, Andrew Thomas retire

NASA astronauts David Leestma and Andrew Thomas are retiring from the astronaut corps after a combined 66 years in federal service.

NASA has bid farewell to two veteran astronauts who have retired after a combined 66 years of federal service.

David Leestma has retired after more than 44 years of government service. A veteran of three spaceflights, Leestma served as a space shuttle mission specialist on STS-41G in 1984, STS-28 in 1989 and STS-45 in 1992.

Before joining NASA, Leestma served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot and flew missions in the Mediterranean/North Atlantic areas while assigned to the USS John F. Kennedy. He was selected to join the astronaut corps in 1980. After flying in space, Leestma held multiple technical and leadership assignments, including director of Flight Crew Operations. In his last role, Leestma led the Technical Transfer and Commercialization Efforts office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“From the day we came together as astronaut classmates, Dave stood out as a remarkable leader, friend, and loyal teammate,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who flew with Leestma on shuttle Atlantis’ STS-45 mission. “He possessed seemingly infinite wisdom of the space shuttle and all its systems and never ceased to amaze me with his performance. We wish him the best.”

Leestma holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, and a Master of Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

A retired Navy captain, Leestma has logged more than 3,500 flight hours. He ends his NASA career having logged more than 23 days in space on three shuttle missions.

Andrew Thomas also has retired from NASA after more than 22 years of service to the agency.

Thomas, who holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering, was selected to join NASA’s astronaut corps in 1992. Before joining NASA, Thomas worked in private industry as a research scientist responsible for designing vehicle aerodynamics, flight controls and propulsion systems.

“Andy is an extraordinary researcher, engineer and astronaut who has done it all in his 22 years as a NASA astronaut,” said Janet Kavandi, director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson. “In his 177 days in space over four missions, Andy served as the payload commander for a dedicated research mission, lived aboard the Russian Mir space station, conducted a spacewalk during an International Space Station assembly mission and served a vital role as a crew member on our crucial Return to Flight mission, STS-114, following the tragic Columbia accident. Since his last flight, Andy has helped shape NASA’s future through his tireless work supporting the development of future exploration technology. We will miss him deeply.”

Thomas traveled to Mir in 1998 to assist in the transition to space station operations. He was the last American to live on Mir and performed numerous life and physical sciences experiments during the course of his stay. His research aboard Mir provided the framework for the multinational cooperation and collaborative research on today’s International Space Station.

Thomas held multiple technical and leadership assignments during his NASA career, including deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>