Official NASA Biography - 1997
During his 16 year tenure as a fleet Navy pilot, Ashby completed five carrier deployments, flying A-7E and FA-18 aircraft from the USS CONSTELLATION, USS CORAL SEA, USS MIDWAY, and USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN. He has flown missions in support of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Southern Watch in Iraq, and Operation Continue Hope in Somalia. Ashby completed 33 combat missions in the FA-18 during Operation Desert Storm.
As a Navy test pilot, Ashby participated in the early development of the FA-18 aircraft, directing and flying tests of its smart weapons systems and electronic warfare suite. He has flown test flights for over 80 projects including carrier suitability, ordnance release, and flying qualities of the Night attack and reconnaissance versions of the Hornet.
In his final operational Navy tour, Ashby served as the Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 94.
Birth Place: Dallas, Texas.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 27.68 days.
Mission Specialists: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics and minimum three years of related experience or an advanced degree. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. 10 pilots and 9 mission specialists, 6 civilians and 13 military officers, chosen from 2,962 applicants, of which 122 screened in June-August 1994. 4 additional international astronauts.
The orbiter payload bay contained only the Chandra spacecraft, the IUS, and the IUS tilt tableTthe following payloads were carried in the shuttle’s cabin: STL-B (Space Tissue Loss), CCM (Cell culture module), SAREX-II (Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment), EarthKam, PGIM (Plant Growth Investigations in Microgravity), CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus), MEMS (Micro-electric Mechanical System), and BRIC (Biological Research in Canisters) and SWUIS (the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System, an 0.18-m UV telescope to be used for airglow and planetary observations); GOSAMR (the Gelation of Sols: Applied Microgravity Research experiment) and LFSAH, the Lightweight Flexible Solar Array Hinge. MSX and SIMPLEX experiments were also to be carried out.
Chandra/IUS-27 was deployed from Columbia at 11:47 GMT July 23. Flight duration was limited; this was the heaviest shuttle (122,534 kg) and heaviest payload (19,736 kg) to that date. Columbia landed at 03:20 GMT on July 28 on runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center. Post-flight inspection found the presence of holes in the cooling lines on the nozzle of SSME 2019 (engine 3) which caused a hydrogen leak. A loose repair pin in the engine broke free and caused the failure. The cause of the short was found to be chaffed wiring inside the shuttle. The entire fleet was grounded for inspection and replacement of wiring as necessary.
On 23 April the SSRMS station manipulator was unberthed from the SLP Spacelab pallet at 1114 GMT and latched on to the PDGF fixture on the Destiny ISS module at 1416 GMT. This was followed at 1458 GMT with the MPLM-2 Raffaello module being moved from Endeavour's payload bay by the Shuttle's RMS and berthed to the nadir port on the ISS Unity module at 1600 GMT. Over the next few days, the cargo racks on the MPLM were transferred to Destiny. Raffaello was then unberthed from Unity at 2003 GMT on April 27 and reberthed in the rear of Endeavour's bay for return to earth at 2059 GMT.
Undocking of Endeavour was delayed by a series of computer problems at the Station. Failures in the Station's command and control computers left only one of the three computers operating.
They were all restarted by April 29, and the Shuttle RMS grappled the Spacelab pallet at 2044 GMT . The station's Canadarm-2 released it at 2106 GMT, and the RMS berthed the pallet back in the Shuttle cargo bay. Endeavour undocked from the Station at 1734 GMT on April 29. The weather in Florida was bad at the planned May 1 landing time, so Endeavour landed in California. The deorbit burn was at 1502 GMT on May 1, with landing at 1610:42 GMT on runway 22 at Edwards. Endeavour returned to the Kennedy Space Center atop a Boeing 747 SCA aircraft on May 9.