Status: Inactive; Active 1998-2010. Born: 1965-05-25. Spaceflights: 2 . Total time in space: 27.71 days. Birth Place: North Hollywood, California.
Grew up in El Paso, Texas.. Educated Texas-El Paso; Houston; Rice.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:JOHN D. OLIVAS (Ph.D., P.E.) "DANNY”
NASA ASTRONAUT (FORMER)
PERSONAL DATA: Born in North Hollywood, California, 1966, and raised in El Paso, Texas. Married to the former Marie Schwarzkopf, also from El Paso, Texas. They have 5 children. Recreational interests include running, weightlifting, hunting, fishing and surfing.
EDUCATION: Graduate of Burges High School, El Paso, Texas; received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas-El Paso; a masters of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston and a doctorate in mechanical engineering and materials science from Rice University.
AWARDS: Six U.S. Patents; Four NASA Class One Tech Brief Awards; Five JPL-California Institute of Technology Novel Technology Recognitions; The University of Texas-El Paso Distinguished Alumnus, HENAAC Most Promising Engineer, McDonald’s Hispanos Triunfadores Life Time Achievement Award, NASA ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship Award, Dow Life Saving Award.
EXPERIENCE: After graduating with his undergraduate degree, Olivas worked for the Dow Chemical Company as a mechanical/materials engineer responsible for performing equipment stress/failure analysis for the operating facilities. Upon completing his master's degree, Olivas pursued his doctorate while supporting engine coating evaluations for C-5 maintenance operations at Kelly Air Force Base. He also supported the Crew and Thermal Systems Directorate at NASA Johnson Space Center, evaluating materials for application to the next generation space suits.
Upon completing his doctorate, he received a senior research engineer position at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and worked in the development of tools and methodologies for nondestructively evaluating microelectronics and structural materials subjected to space environments. He was promoted to Program Manager of the JPL Advanced Interconnect and Manufacturing Assurance Program, aimed at evaluating the reliability and susceptibility of state-of-the-art microelectronics for use in future NASA projects. Throughout his career, he has authored and presented numerous papers at technical conferences and in scientific journals.
NASA EXPERIENCE: NASA selected Olivas in 1998. Astronaut Training included orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques. From 1999 to 2002, he was assigned technical responsibilities within the Robotics Branch as lead for the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator Robot and the Mobile Transporter. From 2002 to 2005 he was assigned to the EVA Branch and supported the research effort focused on developing materials, tools and techniques to perform on-orbit shuttle repair. In 2006, he served as lead of the Hardware Integration Section of the Space Station Branch, responsible for ensuring proper configuration and integration of future station modules and visiting vehicles. In 2007 he flew on STS-117 logging 336 hours in space including over 14 EVA hours. In 2008 he was assigned to the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) Branch that is responsible for all interface with the flight control team at Mission Control in Houston and the on-orbit STS and ISS crews. In 2009 he served aboard STS-128 and has a cumulative total of over 668 hours in space and over 34 EVA hours. Olivas retired from NASA on May 25, 2010.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-117 Atlantis (June 8-22, 2007) was the 118th Shuttle mission and the 21st mission to visit the International Space Station, delivering the second starboard truss segment, the third set of U.S. solar arrays, batteries and associated equipment. The mission also entailed the first ever on-orbit EVA repair to the Space Shuttle, Atlantis. During two spacewalks, Olivas accumulated 14 hours and 13 mins of EVA experience. The mission also delivered and returned with an expedition crew member. STS-117 returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California, having traveled more than 5.8 million miles in 13-day, 20 hours and 20 minutes.
STS-128 Discovery (August 28 to September 11, 2009) was the 128th Shuttle mission and the 30th mission to the International Space Station. While at the orbital outpost, the STS-128 crew rotated an expedition crewmember, attached the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), and transferred over 18,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to the station. During three spacewalks,Olivas accumulated 20 hours and 15 mins of EVA experience. The STS-128 mission was accomplished in 217 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 5.7 million miles in 332 hours and 53 minutes and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Upon completing his doctorate, in the Spring of 1996, he moved to Los Angeles, California, to join an aerospace materials consulting firm. In the Fall, Olivas was offered a senior research engineer position at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Quality Assurance Section, in Pasadena, California. His research included the development of tools and methodologies for nondestructively evaluating microelectronics and structural materials subjected to space environments. Shortly after, he was promoted to Program Element Manager of the JPL Advanced Interconnect and Manufacturing Assurance Program. This NASA sponsored research effort included scientific investigations aimed at evaluating the reliability and susceptibility of state-of-the-art microelectronics for use in future NASA projects. Additionally, he was the JPL lead for the NASA Safety Reliability and Quality Assurance Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) program and was the sole NASA representative investigating applications of NDE to microelectronics applications. Through his career, he has authored and presented numerous papers at technical conferences and in scientific journals and is principal developer of seven inventions.
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.. Of 25 Americans, eight pilots and 17 mission specialists.
The shuttle delivered the S3 and S4 truss segments to the starboard side of the International Space Station. The crew made three spacewalks to install these truss segments, conduct other station reconfiguration and installation work, deploy the solar arrays and prepare them for operation. A fourth spacewalk was added to repair loose re-entry insulation on the shuttle and get-ahead installation work on the outside of the station. The shuttle delivered NASA long-term ISS crew member Clayton Anderson to the station; and returned Suni Williams to earth. At the conclusion of this mission the station finally achieved its full-power, dual-boom configuration first conceived for Space Station Freedom in the 1980's.
The crew connected power, data and cooling cables between the S1 and S3 trusses; deployed the four solar array blanket boxes on S4; released the photovoltaic radiator on S4; rotated the keel pin on S3; modified the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint; and removed SARJ launch locks.
The space shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station crews inside the station today partially retracted a solar array and prepared for the third spacewalk that will focus on repair of a damaged thermal blanket on the shuttle and assisting “on the scene” with additional retraction of the array. Additional Details: here....
The situation aboard space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station improved greatly today following repair of a protruding thermal blanket, restoring power to problematic Russian navigation computers, and completing retraction of a finicky solar array. Additional Details: here....
Olivas spent the first two hours stapling down loose re-entry thermal insulation on Atlantis' orbital maneuvering system pod. Reilly meanwhile installed the hydrogen vent valve of a new oxygen generation system on the Destiny laboratory. They then worked together on the wearisome task of folding an old solar array on the station in preparation for its move to another location on the station later in the year.
Crew: Sturckow, Ford, Forrester, Hernandez, Fuglesang, Olivas. Deliver to the ISS and install the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM); Lightweight Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure Carrier (LMC); Three-crew quarters, galley, and second treadmill (TVIS2); and the Crew Health Care System 2 (CHeCS 2).