Status: Inactive; Active 1990-2005. Born: 1960-08-28. Spaceflights: 4 . Total time in space: 229.36 days. Birth Place: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Grew up in Danville, California.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Leroy Chiao (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut (FORMER)
PERSONAL DATA: Born August 28, 1960, Dr. Chiao grew up in Danville, California. He enjoys flying his Grumman Tiger aircraft, as well as downhill skiing. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Leroy and Karen Chiao married in 2003.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Monte Vista High School, Danville, California, in 1978; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983, and a Master of Science degree and a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1985 and 1987.
SPECIAL HONORS: Recipient of four NASA Space Flight Medals (2005, 2000, 1996, 1994), and numerous awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2005), two NASA Exceptional Service Awards (2000, 1996), four NASA Individual Achievement Awards (2004, 2003, 2002, 2001), two NASA Group Achievement awards (1997, 1995) and the NASA Going the Extra Mile Award (2004). Recipient of numerous Federation Aeronautique Internationale awards, including the Korolev Diploma (2002), Komarov Diploma (1996) and De La Vaulx Medal (1994). Recipient of Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1995). Recipient of two Phi Kappa Tau awards - the Taylor A. Borradaile National Alumnus of the Year Award (1996) and the Nu Chapter Alumnus of the Year (1991) award. Recipient of the 2005 Science and Technology Asian Pacific American Heritage Association Award. Recipient of the 2003 Excellence Award in Science and Technology, from the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce. Recipient of the 100 Most Influential Asian Americans in the 1990’s Award from A-Magazine (2000). Keynote Commencement Speaker for the Departments of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, and at Santa Barbara (1996). Invited lecturer on honeycomb material and bonded panels, and cure modeling of aerospace composite materials, at the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials, and at the Changsha Institute of Technology, 5th Department, in the Peoples Republic of China (1988). Invited contributor to the International Encyclopedia of Composite Materials (1989).
EXPERIENCE: Dr. Chiao graduated in 1987 from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and joined the Hexcel Corporation in Dublin, California. He worked for Hexcel until 1989, during which time he was involved in process, manufacturing, and engineering research on advanced aerospace materials. He worked on a joint NASA-JPL/Hexcel project to develop an optically correct, polymer composite precision segment reflector, for future space telescopes. He also worked on cure modeling and finite element analysis. In January of 1989 Dr. Chiao joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, where he was involved in processing research for fabrication of filament-wound and thick-section aerospace composites, where he developed and demonstrated a mechanistic cure model for graphite fiber/epoxy composite material. An instrument-rated pilot, Dr. Chiao has logged over 2600 flight hours in a variety of aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Chiao became an Astronaut in July 1991. He is qualified for flight assignment as a Space Station Commander, Space Station Science Officer and as a Space Shuttle Mission Specialist. His technical assignments to date include: Space Shuttle flight software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); Crew Equipment, Spacelab, Spacehab and Payloads issues for the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch; Training and Flight Data File issues; EVA issues for the EVA Branch. Dr. Chiao also served as Chief of the Astronaut Office EVA Branch. A veteran of four space flights, he flew as a Mission Specialist on STS-65 (July 8-23, 1994), STS-72 (January 11-20, 1996) and STS-92 (October 11-24, 2000), and was the Commander and NASA Science Officer on Expedition-10 (October 13 to April 24, 2005). Dr. Chiao has logged a total of 229 days, 7 hours, 38 minutes and 5 seconds in space, including 36 hours and 7 minutes of EVA time in six space walks. In December 2005, Dr. Chiao retired from NASA to pursue private interests.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-65 Columbia (July 8-23, 1994) launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, setting a Federation Aeronautique Internationale flight duration record for P2 spacecraft. The STS-65 mission flew the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2). During the 15-day flight the seven-member crew conducted more than 80 experiments focusing on materials and life sciences research in microgravity. The STS-65 mission was accomplished in 236 orbits of the Earth, traveling 6.1 million miles in 353 hours and 55 minutes. On this mission, Dr. Chiao became the 196th NASA Astronaut to fly in space and the 311th human in space.
STS-72 Endeavour (January 11-20, 1996) was a 9-day mission during which the crew retrieved the Space Flyer Unit (launched from Japan 10-months earlier), and deployed and retrieved the OAST-Flyer. Dr. Chiao performed two spacewalks designed to demonstrate tools and hardware, and evaluate techniques to be used in the assembly of the International Space Station. In completing this mission, Dr. Chiao logged a total of 214 hours and 41 seconds in space, including 12 hours and 57 minutes EVA time, and traveled 3.7 million miles in 142 orbits of the Earth. During this flight, Dr. Chiao became the first Asian-American and ethnic Chinese to perform a spacewalk.
STS-92 Discovery (October 11-24, 2000) was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. During the 13-day flight, the seven-member crew attached the Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 to the International Space Station (ISS) using Discovery’s robotic arm and performed four space walks to configure these elements. This expansion of the ISS opened the door for future assembly missions and prepared the station for its first resident crew. Dr. Chiao was the EVA/Construction Lead for this mission and totaled 13 hours and 16 minutes of EVA time in two space walks. The STS-92 mission was accomplished in 202 orbits, traveling 5.3 million miles in 12 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes and 25 seconds.
Expedition-10 (October 13, 2004 to April 24, 2005). Dr. Chiao was the Commander and NASA Science Officer of the 10th mission to the International Space Station. Expedition-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 13, 2004 aboard Soyuz TMA-5 and docked with the ISS on October 15, 2004. During his six and a half month stay aboard the station, Dr. Chiao performed numerous tasks including 20 science experiments and two repair and installation space walks, using the Russian “Orlan” space suit, totaling 9 hours, 56 minutes of EVA time on this flight. Expedition-10 concluded its successful mission on April 24, 2005 with a safe landing in Kazakhstan. With this mission, Dr. Chiao became the first Asian-American and ethnic Chinese Mission Commander.
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Chiao became an astronaut in July 1991. He is qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. His technical assignments to date include: Space Shuttle flight software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); crew equipment, Spacelab, Spacehab and payloads issues for the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch; Training and Flight Data File issues. A veteran of two space flights, he flew as a mission specialist on STS-65 in 1994 and STS-72 in 1996. Dr. Chiao has logged 567 hours, 55 minutes, 41 seconds in space, including two spacewalks totaling just over 13 hours.
On STS-65, his first flight, the seven-member crew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 8, 1994, and returned there on July 23, 1994, setting a new flight duration record for the Space Shuttle program at that time. The STS-65 mission flew the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2). During the 15-day flight the crew conducted more than 80 experiments focusing on materials and life sciences research in microgravity. The mission was accomplished in 236 orbits of the Earth, traveling 6.1 million miles in 353 hours and 55 minutes.
Most recently, Dr. Chiao flew on STS-72 (January 11-20, 1996). During the 9-day flight the crew aboard Endeavour retrieved the Space Flyer Unit (launched from Japan 10-months earlier), and deployed and retrieved the OAST-Flyer. Dr. Chiao performed two spacewalks designed to demonstrate and evaluate techniques to be used in the assembly of the International Space Station. In completing his second space flight, Dr. Chiao orbited the Earth 142 times, traveled 3.7 million miles, and logged a total of 214 hours and 41 seconds in space, including just over 13 EVA hours.
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.. Reported to the Johnson Space Center in late July 1990 to begin their year long training. Chosen from 1945 qualified applicants, then 106 finalists screened between September and November 1989.
Carried IML-2; microgravity, biology experiments. Payloads: International Microgravity Laboratory (IML) 2, Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS), Military Applications of Ship Tracks (MAST), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX).
ISS Logistics flight. 100th shuttle flight. Launch delayed from October 6. STS-92 brought the Z-1 Truss (mounted on a Spacelab pallet), Control Moment Gyros, Pressurised Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) and two DDCU (Heat pipes) to the International Space Station.
The RSRM-76 solid rocket boosters separated at 23:19 GMT and main engine cut-off (MECO) came at 23:25 GMT. External tank ET-104 separated into a 74 x 323 km x 51.6 deg orbit. At apogee at 00:01 GMT on Oct 12, Discovery's OMS engines fired to raise perigee to a 158 x 322 km x 51.6 deg orbit; ET-104 re-entered over the Pacific around 00:30 GMT. At Oct 12 on 03:01 GMT the NC1 burn raised the orbit to 180 x 349 km; NC3 on Oct 12 to 311 x 375 km; and the TI burn at 14:09 GMT on Oct 13 to 375 x 381 km x 51.6 deg. Discovery's rendezvous with the International Space Station came at 15:39 GMT on Oct 13, with docking at 17:45 GMT. The spaceship docked with PMA-2, the docking port on the +Y port of the Space Station's Unity module. Hatch was open to PMA-2 at 20:30 GMT the same day.
STS-92 Cargo Manifest
Total payload bay cargo: ca. 14,800 kg
The Z1 first segment of the space station truss was built by Boeing/Canoga Park and was 3.5 x 4.5 meters in size. It was attached to the +Z port on Unity. Z1 carried the control moment gyros, the S-band antenna, and the Ku-band antenna.
PMA-3, built by Boeing/Huntington Beach, was docked to the -Z port opposite Z1. PMA-3 was installed on a Spacelab pallet for launch.
On October 14 at 16:15 GMT the Z1 segment was unberthed from the payload bay and at around 18:20 GMT it was docked to the zenith port on the Unity module.
On October 15 at 14:20 GMT the ODS airlock was depressurised, beginning a spacewalk by Bill McArthur and Leroy Chiao. Official NASA EVA duration (battery power to repress) was 6 hours 28 minutes.
The second spacewalk was on October 16, with Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria. The suits went to battery power at 14:15 GMT and Wisoff left the airlock at 14:21 GMT. Repressurisation began at 21:22 GMT for a duration of 7 hours 07minutes.
Leroy Chiao and Bill McArthur began the third STS-92 EVA at 15:30 GMT on October 17, completing their work at 22:18 GMT for a total time of 6 hours 48 minutes.
After the spacewalk, Discovery completed the second of the three station reboosts scheduled for STS-92. They fired reaction control system jets in a series of pulses of 1.4 seconds each, over a 30-minute period, gently raising the station's orbit by about 3.1 km.
The last of four successful spacewalks began on 18 October at 16:00 GMT and ended at 22:56 GMT, lasting 6 hours and 56 minutes. Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria each jetted slowly through space above Discovery's cargo bay.
After the space walk, Discovery completed the third and final reboost of the space station.
On 19 October the astronauts worked within the ISS. They completed connections for the newly installed Z1 external framework structure and transferred equipment and supplies for the Expedition One first resident crew of the Station. The crew also tested the four 290-kg gyroscopes in the truss, called Control Moment Gyros, which will be used to orient the ISS as it orbits the Earth. They will ultimately assume attitude control of the ISS following the arrival of the U.S. Laboratory Destiny. The tests and the transfer of supplies into the Russian Zarya Module took longer than expected. As a result, the crew's final departure from the Station's Unity module was delayed. Melroy and Wisoff took samples from surfaces in Zarya to study the module's environment. They then unclogged the solid waste disposal system in the Shuttle's toilet, which was restored to full operation after a brief interruption in service.
Discovery undocked from the ISS at 16:08 GMT on 20 October. The final separation burn was executed about 45 minutes after undocking. The crew had added 9 tonnes to the station's mass, bringing it to about 72 tonnes. The return to earth, planned for 22 October, was delayed repeatedly due to high winds at the Kennedy landing site. The landing was finally made at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 24, at 22:00 GMT.
The seven crew members aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery spent their first full day in orbit today checking equipment in preparation for the major events to come: docking with the International Space Station on Friday and, in following days, attaching an exterior framework and additional Shuttle docking port to the orbiting outpost. Additional Details: here....
Discovery's crew is set to install the first of two major components that it carried to the Space Station today - a unique piece of hardware called the Z1 truss. The truss is an exterior framework that houses gyroscopes and communications equipment and later will serve as a mounting platform for large solar arrays that will provide power to the International Space Station. Additional Details: here....
The crew of Discovery added nine tons of critical equipment to the International Space Station today, attaching a framework that holds motion control gyroscopes and communications equipment and that will serve as a support for a giant set of solar arrays to be launched on the next Space Shuttle flight. Additional Details: here....
A key structural element for the International Space Station is now electrically connected to the rest of the station and important communications equipment set up after today's successful space walk by astronauts Leroy Chiao and Bill McArthur. "The crew ... worked absolutely perfectly together, " said lead flight director Chuck Shaw in an evening press conference afterward. "It's a major achievement for this complicated an EVA to go this well." Additional Details: here....
Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao and Bill McArthur completed the third successful spacewalk of Discovery's STS-92 mission at 4:18 p.m. CDT Tuesday, installing two DC-to-DC converter units atop the International Space Station's new Z1 Truss. Those two 129-pound converters, called DDCUs, will convert electricity generated by the huge solar arrays to be attached during the next shuttle mission to the proper voltage. Additional Details: here....
The astronauts installed two 58 kg DDCU DC-to-DC converter units atop the International Space Station's Z1 Truss. The DDCUs, will convert electricity generated by the solar arrays to be attached during the next shuttle mission. The spacewalkers also completed power cable connections on both the Z1 truss and newly installed docking port, PMA-3. They connected and reconfigured cables to route power from Pressurised Mating Adapter-2 to PMA-3 for the arrival of Endeavour and the STS-97 crew next month. They also attached a second tool storage box on the Z1 truss, providing a place to hold the tools and spacewalking aids for future assembly flights. McArthur stocked the boxes with tools and hardware that had been attached to the Unity module. STS-96 Astronauts Tammy Jernigan and Dan Barry had left the tools on the outside of Unity during a May 1999 spacewalk.
Following four consecutive days of on-orbit construction outside the International Space Station, Discovery's astronauts today will work inside the Unity and Zarya modules, completing some final connections for the new Z1 Truss and transferring equipment for use by the first resident crew, slated to arrive early next month. Additional Details: here....
Discovery's astronauts prepared for a Monday landing after high crosswinds at Kennedy Space Center caused a delay of at least one day in their return to Earth and the end of their successful mission to expand the International Space Station and ready it for its first crew. Additional Details: here....
Discovery glided to a textbook landing under sunny skies at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Tuesday, completing a successful mission to the International Space Station. The crew spent more than two extra days in space because of unfavorable weather at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and at Edwards. Additional Details: here....
With less than a month remaining in their stay aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke are preparing the orbiting complex for its next residents. The crew's work this week included taking inventory, performing maintenance on exercise equipment and continued troubleshooting of the onboard oxygen generator. Additional Details: here....
As the end of its mission approaches, the Expedition 9 crew aboard the International Space Station prepared for the trip home by wrapping up science experiments and continuing maintenance operations of the vehicle. After spending six months onboard, the crew will greet its first visitors one week from today. Additional Details: here....
Soyuz TMA-5 docked with the Pirs module on October 16 at 0416 GMT. Aboard the spacecraft were the EO-10 crew of Sharipov and Chiao, and guest cosmonaut Shargin. After a week at the station, the EO-9 crew of Padalka and Fincke, together with Shargin, entered Soyuz TMA-4 at 18:14 GMT on October 23 and returned to earth. Chiao and Sharipov continued as the ISS skeleton station crew.
The latest crewmembers to live and work aboard the International Space Station took a brief break early this week following handover from their departing colleagues, then began in earnest to acclimate themselves to their new home and orbiting laboratory. Additional Details: here....
The EO-10 crew entered Soyuz TMA-5, undocked it from the Pirs module of the International Space Station at 09:32 GMT and redocked it at the nearby Zarya module at 09:53 GMT. This cleared the Pirs docking port for the expected arrival of a Progress unmanned logistics spacecraft.
A Russian cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station. The Progress resupply ship launched at 4:19:31 p.m. CST from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, and less than 10 minutes later settled into orbit. Moments after that, automatic commands deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas. Additional Details: here....
Midway through a six-month stay on the International Space Station, the tenth Expedition crew this week focused on routine maintenance, biomedical investigations and assisted with a software upgrade that should make life a little easier for ground controllers. Additional Details: here....
The EO-10 crew, wearing Orlan spacesuits, first installed a work platform on the exterior of the Zvezda Service Module. Station systems were put on autopilot for the duration of the spacewalk. Atop the platform the astronauts mounted a German experiment, a small remote-controlled manipulator arm, meant to test the operation of lightweight robotic joints in space. They also moved a Japanese micrometeoroid experiment and inspected the station's environmental control system vents for blockages. They completed their work by placing Russian biological experiments on the station exterior.
The crew members aboard the International Space Station are winding down a week that saw them preparing for the arrival of a new cargo spacecraft and helping achieve a milestone in Station robotics operations, which has the potential for long-term exploration applications. Additional Details: here....
Carrying more than two tons of supplies, a Russian cargo spacecraft began a two-day trip to the International Space Station today after its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The ISS Progress 17 resupply ship launched at 1:09 p.m. CST. Less than 10 minutes later, it settled into orbit and automatic commands deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas. Additional Details: here....
International Space Station crewmembers' focus this week was the ISS Progress 17 cargo spacecraft. Expedition 10 Commander and NASA Station Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov spent some of the early part of the week preparing for the arrival of the unpiloted Russian cargo carrier, and much of Thursday and Friday unloading it. Additional Details: here....
The residents of the International Space Station ventured outside today for a 4-hour, 30-minute spacewalk to install communications equipment on the exterior of the Zvezda Service Module and deploy a small satellite experiment. The equipment installation tasks were preparations for the maiden docking of the European Space Agency's cargo carrier, the Automated Transfer Vehicle "Jules Verne," due to launch next year. Additional Details: here....
The EO-10 crew exited in Orlan suits from the Pirs airlock. They installed communications and GPS antennae to support rendezvous and docking by the European ATV unmanned logistics vehicle. Sharipov placed a 5 kg nanosatellite into space, Nanosputnik, into orbit. Other external trash was also released.
After traveling more than 78 million miles aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 10 Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov returned to Earth today. With them was European Space Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori, who had spent eight days aboard the orbiting complex doing research. Additional Details: here....
The EO-10 crew, having handed over the ISS to EO-11, boarded Soyuz TMA-5 together with EP-8 astronaut Vittori. They undocked from the ISS Zarya module at 18:45 GMT, made retrofire on schedule at 21:17, and landed on muddy ground at 51 deg 03" N / 67 deg 18" E at 22:07