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Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
Mike Fincke (NASA Photo JSC-2004E07440)

Biographical Data


Edward Michael "Mike" Fincke (Colonel, USAF)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born March 14, 1967 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but considers Emsworth, Pennsylvania, to be his hometown. Married to the former Renita Saikia of Houston, Texas. They have three children. In addition to time with his family, Mike enjoys travel, geology, astronomy, learning new languages and reading. He is conversant in Japanese and Russian. His parents, Edward and Alma Fincke, reside in Emsworth, Pennsylvania. Renita's parents, Rupesh and Probha Saikia, formerly of Assam, India, reside in Houston, Texas.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Sewickley Academy, Sewickley, Pennsylvania, in 1985. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 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. This was followed by a master of science in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in 1990. He was awarded an associate of science degree in Earth sciences (geology) from El Camino College in Torrance, California, in 1993 and a second master of science in physical sciences (planetary geology) from the University of Houston - Clear Lake in 2001.

SPECIAL HONORS: In addition to two NASA Distinguished Service Medals and two NASA Spaceflight Medals, Colonel Fincke is a recipient of the first ISS Leadership Award as well as a United States Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, three Commendation Medals, two Achievement Medals and various unit and service awards. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the United States Air Force ROTC, Squadron Officer School and Test Pilot School Programs and the recipient of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School Colonel Ray Jones Award as the Top Flight Test Engineer/Flight Test Navigator in class 93B.

EXPERIENCE: Colonel Fincke graduated from MIT in 1989 and immediately attended a summer exchange program with the Moscow Aviation Institute in the former Soviet Union, where he studied cosmonautics. Upon graduation from Stanford University in 1990, he entered the United States Air Force where he "washed out" of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program and then was reassigned as a space systems engineer and a space test engineer at Los Angeles Air Force Base. As a flight test engineer at Edwards and Eglin Air Force Bases, he flew in F-16 and F-15 aircraft. In January 1996, he reported to the Gifu Test Center, Gifu Air Base, Japan, where he was the United States Flight Test Liaison to the Japanese/United States XF-2 fighter program. Colonel Fincke has over 1,000 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft types.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in April 1996, Colonel Fincke reported to the Johnson Space Center, where he completed 2 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. He also served as a backup crewmember for ISS Expeditions 4 and 6 as well as backup commander for ISS Expeditions 13 and 16. He is qualified to fly as a left-seat flight engineer (co-pilot) on the Russian Soyuz TM and TMA 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 of 2002.

SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: ISS Expedition 9 (April 18 to October 23, 2004). Expedition 9 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard the Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft. As the NASA space station science officer and flight engineer, Colonel Fincke spent 6 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.

ISS Expedition 18 (October 12, 2008 to April 8, 2009). Expedition 18 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft. As the ISS commander, Fincke and his three-person crew helped prepare the station for future six-person crews and hosted the space shuttle crews of STS-126 and STS-119. The Expedition 18 mission concluded with undocking from the station and safe landing back in Kazakhstan on April 8, 2009.

STS-134 (May 16 to June 1, 2011). The STS-134 mission marked the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour. Fincke served as mission specialist 1 on the flight deck and as one of the spacewalkers and robotics arm operators. The STS-134 crew delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a state-of-the-art cosmic ray particle physics detector, to the International Space Station.

Fincke has a total of 381 days, 15 hours and 11 minutes in orbit and has logged 48 hours and 37 minutes of EVA time on nine spacewalks.

JUNE 2011