Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Edwards, Joe Frank Jr (1958-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-89. Grew up in Lineville and Roanoke, Alabama. Flew combat missions over Lebanon in 1983

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Joe Frank Edwards, Jr., (Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut

Born February 3, 1958, in Richmond, Virginia. Considers Lineville, Alabama, and Roanoke, Alabama, to be his hometowns. Married to the former Janet Leigh Ragan of Leonardtown, Maryland. He enjoys basketball, running, football and softball. His parents, Joe Frank and Jane McMurray Edwards, reside in Roanoke, Alabama.

Graduated from Lineville High School, Lineville, Alabama, in 1976. Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy, 1980. Master of Science degree in Aviation Systems from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1994.

Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Association of Naval Aviation, U.S. Naval Institute.

Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Superior Service Medal, Air Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal. Daedalian Superior Airmanship Award 1992, Fighter Squadron 143 Fighter Pilot of the Year, 1984, 1985, Fighter Squadron 142 Fighter Pilot of the Year, 1990, 1991, 1992. Carrier Airwing Seven Pilot of the Year, 1985, 1990, 1991.

Designated a Naval Aviator in February 1982. Assigned to Fighter Squadron 143 in 1983 after completion of F-14 Tomcat training. Flew fighter escort and reconnaissance combat missions over Lebanon in 1983 and graduated from U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School in 1984. Graduated from U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 1986 and subsequently worked as project flight test officer and pilot for F-14A(PLUS) and F-14D Full Scale Development. Flew the first Navy flight of the F-14D and a high angle of attack/departure from controlled flight test program for the F-14 airframe/F110 engine integration. Served as Operations and Maintenance Officer in Fighter Squadron 142 1989-1992. Worked as Operations Officer in the Operations Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington D.C. from 1992-1994. He has flown 4000 hours in over 25 different aircraft and logged over 650 carrier arrested landings.

Selected as an astronaut by NASA in December 1994, Edwards reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. He has worked technical issues for the Space Shuttle and Space Station in the Safety Department of the Astronaut Office, and served as Technical Assistant to the Director, Flight Crew Operations Directorate. Most recently, Edwards served as pilot on STS-89. In completing his first space flight, Edwards logged over 211 hours in space. He recently completed an assignment as the NASA Director of Operations (DOR), Russia and is currently the Astronaut CAPCOM representative in Mission Control for Shuttle ascent and entry.

STS-89 (January 22-31, 1998), was the eighth Shuttle-Mir docking mission during which the crew transferred more than 9,000 pounds of scientific equipment, logistical hardware and water from Space Shuttle Endeavour to Mir. In the fifth and last exchange of a U.S. astronaut, STS-89 delivered Andy Thomas to Mir and returned with David Wolf. Mission duration was 8 days, 19 hours and 47 seconds, traveling 3.6 million miles in 138 orbits of the Earth.

Birth Place: Richmond, Virginia.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1958.02.03.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 8.83 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 15 - 1995 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: The Flying Escargot. Originally dubbed the 'snails' by the Hogs, because they were supposed to be the class of 1994, but the announcement was delayed a year;. They renamed themselves with the better-sounding French equivalent. More...

Associated Flights
  • Mir NASA-6 Crew: Thomas Andrew. Thomas relieved Wolf as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Voss. More...
  • STS-89 Crew: Anderson, Dunbar, Edwards, Reilly, Sharipov, Wilcutt. First Uzbek astronaut. First flight of Block IIA SSME engines. Penultimate Shuttle mission to Mir. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Mir The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps. More...

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

Edwards Chronology

1995 June 9 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 15 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Altman; Anderson; Ashby; Bloomfield; Chawla; Curbeam; Edwards; Gorie; Hire; Husband; Kavandi; Kilrain; Lindsey; Lu; Melroy; Noriega; Reilly; Robinson; Sturckow. 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.. 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.

1998 January 23 - . 02:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-89.
  • STS-89 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Wilcutt; Edwards; Reilly; Anderson; Thomas, Andrew; Dunbar; Sharipov. Payload: Endeavour F12 / Spacehab Double Module. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Wilcutt; Edwards; Reilly; Anderson; Thomas, Andrew; Dunbar; Sharipov. Agency: NASA Houston. Manufacturer: Douglas. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24; STS-89; Mir NASA-6. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 8.82 days. Decay Date: 1998-01-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 25143 . COSPAR: 1998-003A. Apogee: 382 km (237 mi). Perigee: 359 km (223 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Penultimate Shuttle mission to Mir. Andy Thomas replaced David Wolf as the resident NASA astronaut. Endeavour docked with the SO module on Mir at 20:14 GMT on January 24, 1998.

    Payloads included:

    • Orbiter middeck: CEBAS (German/US biological module with fish and snails); dinosaur skull (part of a museum educational program)
    • Bay 1: Tunnel Adapter
    • Bay 3: Orbiter Docking System/External Airlock
    • Bay 4-7: Transfer Tunnel
    • Bay 8-12: Spacehab Double Module (payloads included supplies for Mir, X-ray crystallography detector planned for the International Space Station)
    • Bay 13P: Getaway Special GABA carrier with G-141, G-145 (German materials processing experiments)
    • Bay 13S: Getaway Special GABA carrier with G-093 (University of Michigan fluid dynamics experiment), G-432 (Chinese materials processing experiment)

    Despite fits problems with his Sokol emergency spacesuit, Andy Thomas replaced David Wolf as a Mir crew member on January 25. Endeavour undocked from Mir on January 29 at 16:57 GMT and made one flyaround of the station before departing and landing at Kennedy Space Center's runway 15 at 22:35 GMT on January 31.

1998 January 31 - .
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