(Captain, USN) NASA Astronaut
Personal Data - Born June 16, 1954 in Dallas, Texas. Raised in the Colorado mountains. Married. Recreational interests include skiing, backpacking, fly fishing.
Education - Graduated from Evergreen High School, Evergreen, Colorado in 1972. Bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho, 1976. Master of science degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee, 1993.
Special Honors - Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Air Medals (4), Navy Commendation Medals (2), Navy Achievement Medal, and numerous Unit decorations. Navy Attack Aviator of the Year, 1991.
Experience - Ashby has accumulated over 6000 flight hours and 1000 carrier landings. He is a graduate of the Naval Test Pilot School (1988) and the Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun, 1986).
During his 16 year tenure as a fleet Navy pilot, Ashby completed five carrier deployments, flying A-7E and FA-18 aircraft from the USS CONSTELLATION, USS CORAL SEA, USS MIDWAY, and USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN. He has flown missions in support of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Southern Watch in Iraq, and Operation Continue Hope in Somalia. Ashby successfully completed 33 combat missions in the FA-18 during Operation Desert Storm.
As a Navy test pilot, Ashby participated in the early development of the FA-18 aircraft, directing and flying tests of its smart weapons systems and electronic warfare suite. He has flown test flights for over 80 projects including carrier suitability, ordnance release, and flying qualities of the Night attack and reconnaissance versions of the Hornet.
In his final operational Navy tour, Ashby served as the Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 94.
NASA Experience - Selected by NASA in December 1994, Ashby reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. After completion of astronaut basic training, he served as the rendezvous systems representative where he helped develop equipment and techniques for Shuttle docking to the International Space Station. Ashby completed his first space flight as pilot for STS-93 (Columbia) from July 22-27, 1999. The 5-day mission featured the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Designed to conduct comprehensive studies of the universe, the telescope will enable scientists to study exotic phenomena such as exploding stars, quasars, and black holes. In completing his first mission Ashby logged 118 hours and 50 minutes in space.
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