Skip the biography headerNASA Logo National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data


PERSONAL DATA: Born in 1949. He resides in Inglis, Florida.

EDUCATION: Melnick received a master’s degree in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida and a bachelor’s degree in engineering with honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University of West Florida on 28 April 2001.

EXPERIENCE: During his 20-year career with the U.S. Coast Guard, Melnick’s assignments included serving as operations officer and chief test pilot at the Coast Guard Aircraft Program Office in Grand Prairie, Texas. In that capacity, he conducted most of the developmental and all of the acceptance test flights for the HH-65 helicopter, including sea trials, and wrote the HH-65 flight manual. During his Coast Guard service, Melnick received numerous awards, including two Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Secretary of Transportation Heroism Award. In 1992, he received the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Distinguished Alumni Award. He logged over 5,000 hours flying time, predominantly in the H-3, H-52, H-65, and T-38 aircraft.

Selected by NASA in June 1987, Melnick became an astronaut in August 1988, qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Subsequent technical assignments included: Astronaut Support Personnel (ASP) team at the Kennedy Space Center assigned to prepare Shuttle Orbiter cockpits and middecks prior to each flight; represented the Astronaut Office in the assembly and checkout of the new Space Shuttle Orbiter "Endeavour" (OV-105) at the contractor facilities in California; served as head of the flight software verification team in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL). During the five years he served in NASA’s astronaut corps, Melnick flew as a mission specialist on the Shuttle Discovery STS-41 (October 6-10, 1990) when the Ulysses spacecraft was deployed. He served as a flight engineer on STS-49 (May 7-16, 1992), which was the first flight of the Shuttle Endeavour. During that mission, astronauts rescued and repaired the Intelsat VI satellite. He has logged more than 300 hours in space.

Commander Melnick retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and left NASA in July 1992.

Subsequent to his Coast Guard and NASA careers, Melnick was the Vice President for Boeing Florida Operations at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Melnick’s organization, a part of the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems group, provided a variety of support services to Boeing programs in the state. Headquartered in Titusville, the organization has approximately 2,400 employees. Services provided by Boeing in Florida include engineering, facilities and maintenance support to NASA and the Department of Defense for Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Delta rocket programs. Melnick was also responsible for the pursuit of new business for the company in Florida.

Previously Melnick was the Boeing Company Vice President at KSC for the NASA’s Payload Ground Operations Contract, with 1,600 employees. The contract included all the engineering and facilities support and maintenance activities related to preparing spacecraft and/or payloads for the Space Shuttle missions prior to launch and after landing. The division also provided support to NASA and its contractors for the International Space Station hardware.

Prior to joining Boeing (McDonnell Douglas at the time), Melnick was Vice President/Director for Shuttle Engineering at United Space Alliance, formerly Lockheed Martin Space Operations, from 1994 to 1996. From 1992 to 1994, he was Director of Process Improvement Technology at Lockheed Space Operations Company.

JULY 2010

This is the only version available through NASA. Updates must be sought direct from the above named individual.