Encyclopedia Astronautica
Casper



icasperj.jpg
Casper
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
10063839.jpg
STS-36
STS-36 Pilot Casper reaches for laptop computer on OV-104's flight deck
Credit: NASA
Casper, John Howard (1943-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-36, STS-54, STS-62, STS-77. Grew up in Gainesville, Georgia, son of an Air Force officer. Flew 229 combat missions in Vietnam.


NASA Official Biography

NAME: John H. Casper (Colonel, USAF)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Born July 9, 1943, in Greenville, South Carolina, but considers Gainesville, Georgia, to be his hometown. Two children. He enjoys flying general aviation aircraft, running, and listening to classical music. His father, Colonel (Ret.) John Casper Jr., resides in Gainesville, Georgia. His mother, Dorothy M. Casper, is deceased.

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Chamblee High School, Chamblee, Georgia, in 1961; received a bachelor of science degree in engineering science from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1966, and a master of science degree in astronautics from Purdue University in 1967. He is a 1986 graduate of the Air Force Air War College.

ORGANIZATIONS:
Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Association of Space Explorers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the USAF Academy Association of Graduates.

SPECIAL HONORS:
Awarded two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Awards, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 11 Air Medals, 6 Air Force Commendation Medals, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Award, the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership, four NASA Space Flight Medals, and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement.

EXPERIENCE:
Casper received his pilot wings at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, in 1968. After F-100 training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, he flew 229 combat missions with the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing at Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam. From 1970 to 1974, Casper was assigned to the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, and flew the F-100 and F-4 aircraft. In 1974, Casper graduated from the USAF Test Pilot School and became a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, California, flying weapons delivery and avionics testing for F-4 and A-7 aircraft. As chief of the F-4 Test Team, he flew initial performance and weapons separation tests for the F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft. From 1976 to 1980, Casper was operations officer and later commander of the 6513th Test Squadron, conducting flight test programs to evaluate and develop tactical aircraft weapons systems. Casper was assigned to Headquarters USAF in the Pentagon in 1980 and was Deputy Chief of the Special Projects Office, where he developed USAF positions on requirements, operational concepts, policy and force structure for tactical and strategic programs. Casper has logged over 7,000 flying hours in 51 different aircraft.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
A veteran of four space flights, Casper has logged over 825 hours in space. He was the pilot on STS-36 (1990), and was the spacecraft commander on STS-54 (1993), STS-62 (1994) and STS-77 (1996). Selected by NASA in May 1984, Casper became an astronaut in June 1985. His technical assignments to date include: lead astronaut in improving Shuttle computer software and hardware; Astronaut Office lead for improvements to the nosewheel steering, brakes, tires, and development of a landing drag chute; astronaut team leader for the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) where final testing of the flight software and hardware is conducted; ascent/entry spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in the Mission Control Center; and Chief of the Operations Development Branch in the Astronaut Office.

STS-36 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on February 28, 1990, aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. This mission carried classified Department of Defense payloads and was unique in flying at 62 degrees inclination, the highest inclination flown to date by the U.S. manned space program. After 72 orbits of the Earth, the STS-36 mission concluded with a lakebed landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on March 4, 1990, after traveling 1.87 million miles. Mission duration was 106 hours, 19 minutes, 43 seconds.

STS-54 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on January 13, 1993, aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. A crew of five successfully accomplished the primary objectives of this six-day mission. A $200 million NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-F) satellite was deployed, joining four others to complete a national communications network supporting Space Shuttle and other low-Earth orbit scientific satellites. A Diffuse X-Ray Spectrometer (DXS), carried in the payload bay, collected over 80,000 seconds of quality X-ray data to enable investigators to answer questions about the origin of X-rays in the Milky Way galaxy. A highly successful extravehicular activity (EVA) resulted in many lessons learned that will benefit the International Space Station assembly. The flight was also the first to shut down and restart a fuel cell in flight, successfully demonstrating another Space Station application. Casper landed Endeavour at the Kennedy Space Center on January 19, 1993, after 96 Earth orbits covering over 2.5 million miles. Mission duration was 143 hours and 38 minutes.

STS-62 (March 4-18, 1994) was a two-week microgravity research mission aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. Primary payloads were the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-2) and the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST-2) payloads. These payloads included experiments to understand the process of semiconductor crystal growth, investigating the process of metal alloys as they solidify, studying materials at their critical point (where they exist as both a liquid and gas), and testing new technology for use on future spacecraft, such as advanced solar arrays, radiators, heat sinks, and radiation shielding. The flight also tested new technology for aligning the Remote Manipulator System arm and for grasping payloads with a new magnetic end effector. Columbia flew at a record low altitude of 195 km (105 nautical miles) to gather data on spacecraft glow and erosion caused by atomic oxygen and nitrogen molecules. Casper landed Columbia at the Kennedy Space Center after 224 Earth orbits and 5.82 million miles.

STS-77 (May 19-29, 1996) was a ten-day mission aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. The crew performed a record number of rendezvous sequences (one with a SPARTAN satellite and three with a deployed Satellite Test Unit) and approximately 21 hours of formation flying in close proximity of the satellites. During the flight the crew also conducted 12 materials processing, fluid physics and biotechnology experiments in a Spacehab Module. STS-77 deployed and retrieved a SPARTAN satellite, which carried the Inflatable Antenna Experiment designed to test the concept of large, inflatable space structures. A small Satellite Test Unit was also deployed to test the concept of self-stabilization by using aerodynamic forces and magnetic damping. Casper brought Endeavour back to Earth at the Kennedy Space Center after 160 Earth orbits and 4.1 million miles. Mission duration was 240 hours and 39 minutes.

Casper presently serves as the Director of Safety, Reliability, and Quality Assurance for the Johnson Space Center.

MARCH 1997

Birth Place: Greenville, South Carolina.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1943.07.09.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 34.41 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...
  • NASA Group 10 - 1984 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: The Maggots. Named by Bill Shepherd, who dubbed them in their earliest group training in aircraft survival school, a term familiar to graduates of USMC boot camp. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-36 Crew: Casper, Creighton, Hilmers, Mullane, Thuot. Classified mission in 62 degree orbit, the highest inclination orbit ever flown by an American mission. Launch delayed due to illness of crew members. More...
  • STS-54 Crew: Casper, Harbaugh, Helms, McMonagle, Runco. Manned five crew. Deployed TDRSS 6. More...
  • STS-62 Crew: Allen Andy, Casper, Gemar, Ivins, Thuot. Carried USMP-2, OAST-2, SAMPIE, TES, EISG experiments. The external tank lost a 2.4 x 7 cm piece of foamin the rear face of the left bipod ramp. More...
  • STS-77 Crew: Brown, Bursch, Casper, Garneau, Runco, Thomas Andrew. Deployed and retrieved Spartan 2; deployed PAMS-STU; carried Spacehab module. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

Bibliography
  • NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Casper Chronology


1984 May 23 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 10 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Adamson; Baker; Brown, Mark; Cameron; Carter; Casper; Culbertson; Gutierrez; Hammond; Ivins; Lee; Low; McCulley; Shepherd; Thornton; Veach; Wetherbee. The group was selected to provide pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights.. Qualifications: Pilots: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. Advanced degree desirable. At least 1,000 flight-hours of pilot-in-command time. Flight test experience desirable. Excellent health. Vision minimum 20/50 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 vision; maximum sitting blood pressure 140/90. Height between 163 and 193 cm.

    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..


1990 February 28 - . 07:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-36R.
  • STS-36 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Casper; Creighton; Hilmers; Mullane; Thuot. Payload: Atlantis F06 / KH-12 1. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Casper; Creighton; Hilmers; Mullane; Thuot. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-36. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 4.43 days. Decay Date: 1990-03-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 20512 . COSPAR: 1990-019A. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi). Perigee: 198 km (123 mi). Inclination: 62.0000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 368 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 494.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,407.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission - Record altitude (through 5/93).

1990 March 4 - .
1993 January 13 - . 13:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-54.
  • STS-54 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Casper; Harbaugh; Helms; McMonagle; Runco. Payload: Endeavour F03 / TDRS 6 [IUS]. Mass: 21,156 kg (46,640 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Casper; Harbaugh; Helms; McMonagle; Runco. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-54. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 5.98 days. Decay Date: 1993-01-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 22313 . COSPAR: 1993-003A. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). Perigee: 302 km (187 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned five crew. Deployed TDRSS 6. Payloads: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-F/Inertial Upper Stage (IUS); Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer (DXS); Chromosome and Plant Cell Division in Space (CHROMEX); Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) A; Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE) 02; Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE).

1993 January 19 - .
1994 March 4 - . 13:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-62.
  • STS-62 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Allen, Andy; Casper; Gemar; Ivins; Thuot. Payload: Columbia F16 / USMP-2 / OAST-2. Mass: 8,870 kg (19,550 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Allen, Andy; Casper; Gemar; Ivins; Thuot. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-62. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 13.97 days. Decay Date: 1994-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 23025 . COSPAR: 1994-015A. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). Perigee: 246 km (152 mi). Inclination: 39.0000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Carried USMP-2, OAST-2, SAMPIE, TES, EISG. Payloads: United States Microgravity Payload (USMP) 2, Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) 2, Dexterous End Effector (DEE), Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet/A (SSBUV/A), Limited-Duration Space Environment Candidate Material Exposure (LDCE), Advanced Protein Crystal Growth (APCG), Physiological Systems Experiment (PSE), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA), Auroral Photography Experiment Phase B (APE-B), Middeck Zero-Gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Bioreactor Demonstration System A.

1994 March 18 - .
1996 May 19 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-77.
  • STS-77 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Brown; Bursch; Casper; Garneau; Runco; Thomas, Andrew. Payload: Endeavour F11 / GBA-9. Mass: 12,233 kg (26,969 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brown; Bursch; Casper; Garneau; Runco; Thomas, Andrew. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-77. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 10.03 days. Decay Date: 1996-05-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 23870 . COSPAR: 1996-032A. Apogee: 285 km (177 mi). Perigee: 274 km (170 mi). Inclination: 39.0000 deg. Period: 90.10 min. Deployed and retrieved Spartan 2; deployed PAMS-STU; carried Spacehab module. Payloads: Shuttle Pointed Research Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN) 207/Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE); Technology Experiments Advancing Missions in Space (TEAMS) 01 (includes Vented Tank Resupply Experiment (VTRE), Global Positioning System (GPS) Attitude and Navigation Experiment (GANE) (RME 1316), Liquid Metal Test Experiment (LMTE) and Passive Aerodynami-cally Stabilized Magnetically Damped Satellite (PAMS) Satellite Test Unit (STU); SPACEHAB-4; Brilliant Eyes Ten-Kelvin Sorption Cryocooler Experiment (BETSCE); 12 getaway specials attached to a GAS bridge assembly (GAS 056, 063, 142, 144, 163, 200, 490, 564, 565, 703, 741 and the Reduced-Fill Tank Pressure Control Experiment (RFTPCE); Aquatic Research Facility (ARF) 01; Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) 07, Block III.

1996 May 29 - .
Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use