Grew up in Holly Hill, South Carolina, son of a physician. US Navy test pilot. Total EVA Time: 0.22 days. Number of EVAs: 1.
He has logged over 5,000 hours flying time in 40 different types of aircraft, and 350 carrier landings.
On his first mission, Culbertson served as pilot on STS-38. The five-man crew launched at night from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 15, 1990. During the five-day mission crew members conducted Department of Defense operations. After 80 orbits of the earth, in the first Shuttle recovery in Florida since 1985, Space Shuttle Atlantis and her crew landed back at the Kennedy Space Center on November 20, 1990. Mission duration was 117 hours, 54 minutes, 28 seconds. in space.
More recently, Culbertson commanded the STS-51 mission aboard the Shuttle Discovery, which launched on September 12, 1993. During the ten day mission the crew of five deployed the U.S. Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS/TOS), and the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (ORFEUS/SPAS) with U.S. and German scientific experiments aboard, including an ultraviolet spectrometer. On flight day five, a seven-hour EVA was conducted to evaluate Hubble Space Telescope repair tools and methods. After the SPAS spacecraft had completed six days of free flight at up to 40 miles from Discovery, the crew completed a successful rendezvous and recovered the SPAS with the Shuttle's robot arm. The mission concluded on September 22, 1993, with the first ever night landing at the Kennedy Space Center. Mission duration was 236 hours, 11 minutes.
Culbertson currently serves as Program Manager, Phase 1 Shuttle/Mir. Phase 1 is a multi-year program, consisting of at least seven Shuttle docking missions to the Russian Space Station Mir, five astronauts spending at least 22 months cumulatively on-board the Mir, and all the associated science and docking hardware to ensure the success of the joint program. Phase 1 will serve as a precursor to the building of the joint International Space Station.
Birth Place: Charleston, South Carolina.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 143.62 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..
The 15,107 kg payload consisted of:
The Leonardo MPLM module was lifted out of Discovery's payload bay at 1326 GMT on August 13 and docked to Unity's nadir at 1554 GMT. 3300 kg of cargo from Leonardo was transferred to the Station. Then 1700 kg of station garbage and materials were loaded into Leonardo. It was unberthed from Unity at 1816 GMT on August 19 and returned to the payload bay for the return to Earth at 1917 GMT.
Discovery undocked at 1452 GMT on August 20 with the Expedition 2 crew aboard, leaving Expedition 3 at the Station.
At 1830 GMT on August 20 the Simplesat test satellite was ejected from a GAS canister in the cargo bay. Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Center at 1822:58 GMT on August 22 on runway 15, after a deorbit burn at 1715 GMT. The Expedition Two crew of Usachyov, Voss and Helms had been in space for 167 days. Discovery was taken out of service after the flight for structural inspections. Its last maintenance down period was in 1995-1996.