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Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
Steven Swanson (NASA Photo JSC2006-E-44334)

Biographical Data


Steven R. Swanson (PH.D.)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born in Syracuse, New York, but considers Steamboat Springs, Colorado to be his hometown. Married to the former Mary Drake Young of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They have three children. He enjoys mountain biking, basketball, skiing, weight lifting, trail running, woodworking and spending time with his family. His parents, Stanley and June Swanson, reside in Eagle, Idaho. Her parents, Chan and Martha Young, reside in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado; received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado, and a Master of Applied Science in Computer Systems from Florida Atlantic University, and a Doctorate in Computer Science from Texas A&M University.

SPECIAL HONORS: Recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the JSC Certificate of Accommodation, Flight Simulation Engineering Award, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

EXPERIENCE: Prior to coming to NASA, Swanson worked for GTE in Phoenix, Arizona as a software engineer working on the real-time software of telephone system multiplexer/demultiplexers.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Dr. Swanson joined NASA as a Systems Engineer and a Flight Engineer in the Aircraft Operations Division of JSC working on the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA). The STA is a complex airborne shuttle simulator, which models the flight characteristics of the shuttle from 35,000 ft. to main gear touchdown. During his time with the STA, Swanson worked on the improvement of the STA’s navigation and control systems and the incorporation of a real-time wind determination algorithm.

In May of 1998, Dr. Swanson was selected as mission specialist and started training in August of 1998. After completing Astronaut Candidate training, which included intensive instruction in shuttle and International Space Station systems, he was assigned to the Astronaut Office Space Station Operations Branch. He has also worked in the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch and as a Spacecraft Communicator (CAPCOM) for space station and shuttle missions. Dr. Swanson also completed the advance training for Extravehicular Activities (EVAs), the shuttle and station robotic arms, and shuttle rendezvous. In 2007, he flew on STS-117, logging 336 hours in space including almost 14 EVA hours. In 2009, Swanson flew on the STS-119 mission in which he led the EVA team and logged 307 hours in space including about 13 EVA hours.

Swanson is currently serving as flight engineer aboard the International Space Station for Expedition 40.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-117 Atlantis (June 8 through June 22, 2007) was the 118th shuttle mission and the 21st mission to visit the International Space Station, delivering the second starboard truss segment, the third set of U.S. solar arrays, batteries and associated equipment. This successful construction and repair mission involved four spacewalks by two teams of astronauts. Swanson accumulated 13 hours and 45 minutes of EVA in 2 spacewalks. The mission also delivered and returned with an expedition crew member. STS-117 returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California, having traveled 5.8 million miles in 14 days.

STS-119 Discovery (March 15 through March 28, 2009) was the 125th shuttle mission and the 28th mission to visit the International Space Station, delivering the final starboard truss segment, S6. As part of S6, the fourth and final set of U.S. solar arrays, batteries and associated equipment were also delivered, installed and deployed. This very successful construction mission consisted of three spacewalks conducted by three astronauts, two at a time. Dr. Swanson accumulated 12 hours and 37 minutes of EVA in 2 spacewalks. STS-119 landed at the Kennedy Space Center after traveling 5.3 million miles in 13 days.

Expedition 39/40 - On March 25, Dr. Swanson launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station along with Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Upon reaching the station, they joined NASA Astronaut Rick Mastracchio, Roscosmos Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Koichi Wakata.

MARCH 2014