Educated Citadel; Tennessee-Knoxville.
Official NASA Biography - May 2004
Randy Bresnik, Pilot
BORN: Fort Knox, Kentucky
EDUCATION: BS, Mathematics, The Citadel, 1989; MS, Aviation Systems, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 2002
CURRENT JOB: Operations Officer, F/A-18 Pilot, MCAS Miramar, San Diego, CA
QUICK FACT: Is getting married in May in a castle in Scotland.
QUOTE: "What I hope to accomplish is to contribute to the NASA team. What more exciting thing can you do?"
Randy Bresnik had been hoping that his next assignment as a U.S. Marine Corps test pilot would be to test a next-generation aircraft. To be selected to help develop a next-generation spacecraft instead, he says, "Holy smokes! That's a dream."
Bresnik, a Marine major, is currently a F/A-18 pilot with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Miramar in San Diego, California. He is approaching 3000 hours of flight experience, including a recent tour in the war in Iraq. "We were there from before day one until the president declared an official end to hostilities," he says.
Bresnik says that he and his dad, a former military pilot in Vietnam, used to build models together when he was a child, including a model of a Gemini capsule with a spacewalker tethered outside. "As a kid, flying in space seems so impossible," he says.
But for a grown-up Bresnik, it is becoming a reality. He is one of two people selected to train as pilot astronauts in the 2004 astronaut candidate class, an assignment that could include development and testing work on the Crew Exploration Vehicle. He reports for training this summer at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
He was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky but moved to southern California when he was just two weeks old. Bresnik graduated from Santa Monica High School before attending The Citadel, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in mathematics. He also holds a Master's degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Growing up in Santa Monica, Bresnik was the only boy in a family with four children. "I had a number of people in my life -- great teachers -- who were pretty influential. I remember a 6th grade teacher, a guidance counselor in junior high, a music teacher in college, all of whom went above and beyond. I've been thinking about them. Would they believe it for a moment that I've been selected to train as an astronaut?"
Bresnik, 36, is getting married at a castle in Scotland in May to a civilian lawyer he met while she was working at the Pentagon. "She's an extraordinary woman. She stuck with me when I got deployed for the war," he says. "We got engaged last July on a boat in the middle of a lake in Idaho."
Bresnik says he is looking forward to helping to fulfill the new Vision for Space Exploration. "What I hope to accomplish is to contribute to the NASA team," he says. "What more exciting thing can you do?"
Birth Place: Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 10.80 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.. Due to a surplus of astronauts and a dearth of missions, NASA cancelled the planned 2002 astronaut selection. The next call for applications was made in May 2003, with a due date of 1 July. 'Educator astronauts' were especially requested, and 1100 applications were received in this category. The final selection was two pilots and nine mission specialists; nine men and two women. Given the drastic reduction if shuttle flights and ISS crew size planned for the post-Columbia disaster period, the chances for astronauts from this group flying in the next decade seemed slim indeed. Also training in this group were three NASDA astronauts from Japan.