James M. Kelly (astronaut)

Last updated
James M. Kelly
James m kelly.jpg
NASA Astronaut
NationalityAmerican
StatusActive
Born (1964-05-14) May 14, 1964 (age 54)
Burlington, Iowa, U.S.
Other occupation
Test Pilot
Rank Colonel, USAF
Time in space
26d 17h 21m
Selection 1996 NASA Group
Missions STS-102, STS-114
Mission insignia
STS-102 Patch.svg STS-114 patch.svg

James McNeal "Vegas" Kelly (born May 14, 1964) is a NASA Astronaut and a retired Colonel of the United States Air Force. He twice served as pilot on Space Shuttle missions.

NASA space-related agency of the United States government

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

Astronaut Person who commands, pilots, or serves as a crew member of a spacecraft

An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. Although generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists.

Colonel (United States) Military rank of the United States

In the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, colonel is the most senior field grade military officer rank, immediately above the rank of lieutenant colonel and immediately below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services. The pay grade for colonel is O-6.

Contents

Education

Born in Burlington, Iowa, James Kelly graduated from Burlington Community High School in 1982. He received a B.S. degree in astronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy in 1986 and M.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama in 1996.

Burlington, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Burlington is a city and the county seat of Des Moines County, Iowa, United States. The population was 25,663 in the 2010 census, a decline from the 26,839 population in the 2000 census. Burlington is the center of a micropolitan area including West Burlington, Iowa, and Middletown, Iowa, and Gulfport, Illinois. Burlington is the home of Snake Alley, once labelled the crookedest alley in the world.

United States Air Force Academy The U.S. Air Forces federal service academy

The United States Air Force Academy, is a military academy for officer cadets of the United States Air Force. Its campus is located in the western United States in Colorado, immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County.

Aerospace engineering branch of engineering

Aerospace engineering is the primary field of engineering concerned with the development of aircraft and spacecraft. It has two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. Avionics engineering is similar, but deals with the electronics side of aerospace engineering.

Major achievements

Kelly received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in May 1986 and was designated an Air Force Pilot in October 1987. He then reported to the 426th F-15 Replacement Training Unit at Luke Air Force Base, Phoenix, Arizona for initial F-15A Eagle training. After completion, he was assigned to the 67th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Wing at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

Luke Air Force Base airport

Luke Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located 7 miles west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is about 15 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona.

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city in Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the most populous American state capital, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.

67th Fighter Squadron

The 67th Fighter Squadron "Fighting Cocks" is a fighter squadron of the United States Air Force, part of the 18th Operations Group at Kadena Air Base, Japan.

During his tour in Japan, he was designated as an instructor pilot, evaluator pilot, and mission commander. He was reassigned in April 1992 to Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as part of Project TOTAL FORCE, where he continued flying the F-15 as an instructor and mission commander. He was selected for Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Edwards, California, where he graduated in June 1994. After graduation, he was assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center detachment at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was a project test pilot and assistant operations officer. He was at Nellis when selected for the astronaut program.

Otis Air National Guard Base Massachusetts Air National Guard installment

Otis Air National Guard Base is an Air National Guard installation located within Joint Base Cape Cod, a military training facility located on the western portion of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. It was known as Otis Air Force Base prior to its transfer from the active duty Air Force to the Air National Guard. In the local community, it is more commonly known as Otis Air Base or simply Otis. It was named in honor of pilot and Boston surgeon Lt. Frank "Jesse" Otis.

Edwards Air Force Base United States Air Force installation in Southern California

Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force installation located in Kern County in southern California, about 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Lancaster and 15 miles (24 km) east of Rosamond.

Edwards, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

Edwards is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California.

He has logged over 2,500 flight hours in more than 35 different aircraft.

Awards and honors

Meritorious Service Medal (United States) military award presented to members of the United States Armed Forces

The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) is a military award presented to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the United States subsequent to January 16, 1969.

Combat Readiness Medal

The Combat Readiness Medal is an award of the United States Air Force which was first created in 1964. The original Combat Readiness Medal was an award senior to the Air Force Commendation Medal, and it was awarded for superior and meritorious duty to the United States Air Force. The award criteria for the medal were revised in 1967 and the Combat Readiness Medal adopted the designation as a service medal.

Sheppard Air Force Base

Sheppard Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located five miles (8.0 km) north of the central business district of Wichita Falls, in Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is the largest training base and most diversified in Air Education and Training Command. The base is named in honor of Texas Senator John Morris Sheppard, a supporter of military preparations before World War II.

NASA experience

Selected by NASA in April 1996, Kelly reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he is qualified for selection as a pilot on a Space Shuttle flight crew. He served as pilot on two shuttle missions. Initially, Kelly was assigned to the Astronaut Office Flight Support Branch where he served as a member of the Astronaut Support Personnel team responsible for shuttle launch preparation.

Johnson Space Center NASA field center in Houston, Texas

The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Manned Spacecraft Center, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted. It was built and leased to NASA by Joseph L. Smith & Associates, Inc. It was renamed in honor of the late U.S. president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson, by an act of the United States Senate on February 19, 1973.

Space Shuttle Partially reusable launch system and spacecraft

The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982. In addition to the prototype whose completion was cancelled, five complete Shuttle systems were built and used on a total of 135 missions from 1981 to 2011, launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Operational missions launched numerous satellites, interplanetary probes, and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST); conducted science experiments in orbit; and participated in construction and servicing of the International Space Station. The Shuttle fleet's total mission time was 1322 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes and 23 seconds.

Space flight experience

When this continued for a second day the shuttle was diverted and Kelly landed with Discovery at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Mission duration was 333 hours, 33 minutes. Kelly was the pilot on this mission.

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