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Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
Kevin Ford (NASA photo)

Biographical Data

Kevin A. Ford (Colonel, U.S. AIR FORCE, Ret.)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born July 7, 1960 in Portland, Indiana. Montpelier, Indiana, is his hometown. Married to the former Kelly Bennett. They have two children, Anthony and Heidi. His father, Clayton Ford, resides in Indiana.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Blackford High School, Hartford City, Indiana, in 1978. He received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1982, a Master of Science in International Relations from Troy State University in 1989, a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1997. Graduate of Squadron Officer School, the Air Command and Staff College Associate Program and Air War College.

SPECIAL HONORS: Distinguished Graduate of Detachment 225, Reserve Officer Training Corps, 1982. Distinguished Graduate of Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, 1984. Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, 1990. Awarded the Legion of Merit, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Recipient of the Air Force Test Pilot School David B. Barnes Outstanding Flight Instructor Award, 1998.

EXPERIENCE: Ford was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1982 and completed primary Air Force jet training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, in 1984. He trained in the F-15 Eagle and was assigned to the 22nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bitburg Air Base, Germany, from 1984 to 1987, and then to the 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Keflavik Naval Air Station, Iceland, until 1989, intercepting and escorting 18 Soviet combat aircraft over the North Atlantic. After spending 1990 as a student at the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, California, Ford flew flight test missions in the F-16 Fighting Falcon with the 3247th Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, from 1991 to 1994. Ford’s test experience at Eglin included multiple F-16 flutter missions; development of the ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System; and multiple safe separation, ballistics, and air-to-air missile development testing, including the first AMRAAM shot from the F-16 Air Defense Fighter variant. Following a three-year assignment to pursue full-time studies as a doctoral candidate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, he was assigned to the Air Force Test Pilot School where he served as the Director of Plans and Programs, taught academics and instructed students on flight test techniques in the F-15, F-16 and gliders. Ford has 4700 flying hours and holds FAA commercial certificates for airplanes, helicopters and gliders. He is a certificated flight instructor in airplanes and gliders. Ford retired from active duty military service in June 2008.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Ford was selected as a pilot by NASA and reported for training in August 2000. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, working advanced exploration issues and the development and testing of the Shuttle Cockpit Avionics Upgrade. He served as Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, from January to December of 2004. From January 2005 until July of 2008, he served as a Space Shuttle and International Space Station Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) in the Mission Control Center, working the STS-115, STS-116, STS-117, STS-120, STS-122 and STS-123 shuttle missions, as well as station Expedition Stage Operations. In 2009 Ford was the pilot on STS-128 to the space station. He launched to the International Space Station as an Expedition 33 flight engineer in October 2012 and became commander of Expedition 34 in November 2012. He has logged more than 3,789 cumulative hours in space.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Ford served as pilot on space shuttle mission STS-128 to the International Space Station (Construction Mission 17A), which launched just prior to midnight on August 28, 2009 from the Kennedy Space Center and landed on September 11, 2009 at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Space Shuttle Discovery carried the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module “Leonardo” filled with 15,000 pounds of science and storage racks to the space station; delivered a new Ammonia Tank Assembly and returned a depleted one; returned the station EuTEF and MISSE experiments; and exchanged station Expedition crew members. Discovery and her crew completed 219 Earth orbits in 13 days, 21 hours.

Expedition 33/34 (October 23, 2012 to March 15, 2013) - Ford launched on October 23, 2012 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, alongside Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin. The three flight engineers were welcomed aboard the International Space Station on October 25 by NASA Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. In November 2012, the Soyuz undocking that marked the end of Expedition 33 also signaled the beginning of Ford’s tenure as Expedition 34 commander. He landed in the steppe of Kazakhstan on March 15, 2013 after spending 144 days in space, orbiting the Earth 2,304 times, and traveling almost 61 million miles.