Status: Inactive; Active 1996-2002. Born: 1964-05-20. Spaceflights: 1 . Total time in space: 12.83 days. Birth Place: Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Grew up in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.. Educated Drexel University; University of Maryland.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Paul William Richards
PERSONAL DATA: Born May 20, 1964, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His hometown is Dunmore, Pennsylvania. He has two children. He is married to the former Jean Christianson of Mishawaka, IN and Chicago, IL. Paul's parents are Angela Cordaro Richards and the late James J. Richards. Jean's parents are John and Jan Christianson of Mishawaka, IN. His recreational interests include running, golf, boating, snow skiing, cooking and home repair/improvement.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Dunmore High School, Dunmore, Pennsylvania, in 1982; received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in 1987 and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1991.
ORGANIZATIONS: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Society of Naval Engineers and the United States Naval Reserves.
AWARDS: NASA Certificate of Recognition for Patent Application (1996), Silver Snoopy Award (1994), NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (1994), several Goddard Honor Awards (1994), several Group Achievement Awards (1994), HST First Servicing Mission Development Team, HST First Servicing Mission Extravehicular Activity Team, HST First Servicing Mission Crew Aids and Tools Development Team, HST First Servicing Mission Integration and Test Team, HST First Servicing Mission Space Support Equipment Team, NASA Manned Flight Awareness Award (1994), NASA Outstanding Performance Awards (1992, 1994 and 1995), Quality Increase Award (1993), Certificate of Outstanding Performance (1990, 1993 and 1994), Group Achievement Award UARS and GRO MMS and UASE Support Team (1992), NASA Certificate of Recognition for Invention Disclosure (1991) and NASA Certificate of Recognition for Technical Brief (1991).
EXPERIENCE: Department of the Navy, Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station, 1983 to 1987. Transferred to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in 1987. Worked in the Verification Office, Electromechanical Branch, Robotics Branch and Guidance and Controls Branch, all within the Engineering Directorate. Senior EVA Tool Development Engineer for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing Project. Project Manager for HST EVA crew aids and tools. Program Manager for HST EVA Hardware. Responsibilities included the budget, schedule, design, analysis, fabrication, test, and integration for breadboard, WETF/NBS, engineering, and flight hardware, documentation, and review process. Additional duties included systems engineering support for the HST WETF/NBS Servicing Mission Simulations as a utility diver and EMU suited subject.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in April 1996, Richards reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed 2 years of training and evaluation, he is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Richards was initially assigned to the Computer Branch working on software for the space shuttle and the International Space Station. He next served in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch assigned to support Payload and General Support Computers (PGSCs) and the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL). Richards flew on STS-102 and has logged more than 307 hours in space, including 6.4 EVA hours. He was assigned as a backup crewmember for ISS Expedition-7. Richards left NASA in February 2002 to become an aerospace consultant. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Space Business Roundtable and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Drexel University's College of Engineering. In 2004, Richards returned to NASA GSFC as the Observatory Manager for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R Series). The GOES-R series is the next-generation of advanced weather satellites being developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in partnership with NASA.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-102 Discovery (March 8-21, 2001) was the eighth shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station. Mission accomplishments included the delivery of the Expedition-2 crew and the contents of the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, the return to Earth of the Expedition-1 crew as well as the return of Leonardo, the reusable cargo carrier built by the Italian Space Agency. Richards performed an EVA totaling 6 hours and 21 minutes. Mission duration was 307 hours and 49 minutes.
Selected by NASA in April 1996, Richards reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin two years of training and evaluation. Successful completion of initial training will qualify him for various technical assignments leading to selection as a mission specialist on a Space Shuttle flight crew.
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 25 mission specialists selected from over 2,400 applicants. 9 additional international astronauts.
STS 102 was an American shuttle spacecraft that carried a crew of seven astronauts (six American and one Russian). The primary mission was to deliver a multi-rack Italian container (Leonardo MultiPurpose Logistics Module, LMPLM) to the Destiny Module of the International Space Station, ISS. It docked with the ISS at 05:34 UT on 9 March. The 6.4 m x 4.6 m cylindrical LMPLM delivered new equipment to Destiny, and retrieved used/unwanted equipment, and trash back to the shuttle. The crew did a few spacewalks to install a platform on the ISS to support a Canadian robot arm when it arrives next month. The STS 102 left behind three of the astronauts (two American and one Russian) and brought back the three astronauts (one American and two Russian) who had been inhabiting the ISS for about four and a half months. It landed at Cape Canaveral at 07:31 UT on 21 March.
Discovery was launched on mission STS-102 (Space Station flight 5A.1) into an initial 60 x 222 km x 51.6 deg orbit. The mission was delivery of supplies and equipment, and changeout of the Expedition One and Expedition Two station crews. STS-102 carried the Leonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), built by Alenia Spazio (Torino), to the International Space Station. The 6.4 m x 4.6 m cylindrical MPLM was a descendant of the Spacelab long modules. Also carried was a Spacehab/Energia unpressurized Integrated Cargo Carrier with LCA/MTSAS-A, RU, and PFCS. A sidewall adapter beam with two GAS canisters (G-783 and WSVFM) was also on board. WSVFM measured vibration during launch. Another adapter beam, probably at the rear of the payload bay, carried SEM-9. SEM-9 and G-783 contained high school microgravity experiments.
Leonardo carried 16 'racks' of equipment, including the Human Research Facility Rack (Rack 13) which allowed the astronauts to do extensive medical experiments, the CHeCS Rack (28), the DDCU-1 and DDCU-2 racks (7 and 9), the Avionics-3 (Rack 6), and the MSS Avionics/Lab (Rack 11) and Avionics/Cupola (Rack 12) racks for a total of 7 equipment racks to be installed on Destiny. Three Resupply Stowage Racks (50, 51, 52) and four Resupply Stowage Platforms (180, 181, 182 and 188) remained installed on Leonardo, with their equipment bags being individually transferred to the Station. System Racks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 were already on Destiny together with stowage racks 110 through 117. Each rack had a mass of 150-300 kg.
The orbiter fired its OMS engines at 1221 GMT to raise the orbit to 185 x 219 km. Discovery docked with the PMA-2 port on the Station at 0639 GMT on March 10. The LCA (Lab Cradle Assembly) was attached to Destiny's +Z side during an EVA. It was to be used on the next mission to temporarily place a Spacelab pallet on Destiny during installation of the Station's robot arm. Later, it would be the site for the main Station truss, beginning with segment S0.
The PMA-3, on Unity at the -Z nadir position, had to be moved to the port position to make room for Leonardo. An external stowage platform was attached to Destiny and the External Stowage Platform and the PFCS Pump Flow Control System were added to the port aft trunnion on Destiny. A rigid umbilical (RU) was connected to the PDGF grapple fixture on Destiny to support the Station's future robot arm. Leonardo was docked to Unity at -Z for a while so that its cargo could be transferred to the station easily; it was then be returned to the payload bay and brought back to earth.
At 0232 GMT on March 19 command of ISS was transferred to Expedition 2 and the hatches were closed. Discovery undocked at 0432 GMT and flew once around the station before departing at 0548 GMT. ISS mass after undocking was 115527 kg. The OMS engines fired for the deorbit burn at 0625 GMT on March 21, and Discovery touched down on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 0731 GMT.
Discovery continues its pursuit of the International Space Station, currently trailing the outpost by 3,520 miles and closing that distance at the rate of about 660 miles with every orbit of the Earth. All systems aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery are ready for tonight's docking, scheduled for 11:34 p.m. as the two spacecraft fly just off the east coast of Brazil. Additional Details: here....
With an exchange of space station crew members already under way, Discovery's crew turns its attention to continuing assembly of the orbital outpost, conducting a space walk set to begin just before 11 p.m., or earlier, to reposition a docking port and installing gear in preparation for the arrival of the station's Canadian-built robotic arm next month. Additional Details: here....
The airlock was depressurized at 0518 GMT and the hatch opened at 0520 GMT. The astronauts took the External Stowage Platform from the ICC carrier to the port side of the Destiny module, and then installed the spare Pump Flow Control System on it. The ESP was used to store on-orbit-spare equipment. Next they hooked up cables on the robot arm's umbilical, and travelled up to the top of the P6 tower to fix a solar array latch - it just needed a good thump - and inspect the FPP experiment. The astronauts returned to the airlock at 1132 GMT and began repressurizing at 1144 GMT.
The crews of Discovery and the International Space Station will spend a final full day today packing the Leonardo cargo module on the station before they detach Leonardo from the complex Saturday night and secure it in the Shuttle payload bay for the trip home. Additional Details: here....
Carrying nearly one ton of trash and excess equipment, along with personal items belonging to the returning Expedition One crew, the Leonardo cargo carrier was detached from its port on the International Space Station early this morning and gently placed back in Discovery's payload bay by Mission Specialist Andy Thomas. Additional Details: here....