Richard Mastracchio

Last updated
Richard Alan "Rick" Mastracchio
Richard Mastracchio 2013.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1960-02-11) February 11, 1960 (age 58)
Waterbury, Connecticut
Other occupation
Engineer
Time in space
227 days, 13 hours, 38 minutes
Selection 1996 NASA Group
Total EVAs
9
Total EVA time
53 hours, 4 minutes
Missions STS-106, STS-118, STS-131, Soyuz TMA-11M (Expedition 38/39)
Mission insignia
Sts-106-patch.svg STS-118 patch new.svg STS-131 patch.svg Soyuz-TMA-11M-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 38 Patch.svg ISS Expedition 39 Patch.svg

Richard Alan "Rick" Mastracchio (born February 11, 1960) is an American engineer and former NASA astronaut. He has flown on three NASA Space Shuttle missions as a mission specialist in addition to serving as a Flight Engineer on the Soyuz TMA-11M (Expedition 38/Expedition 39) long duration mission aboard the International Space Station. He is currently the Senior Director of Operations for Commercial Resupply Services at Orbital ATK.

Engineer professional practitioner of engineering and its sub classes

Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who invent, design, analyze, build, and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost. The word engineer is derived from the Latin words ingeniare and ingenium ("cleverness"). The foundational qualifications of an engineer typically include a four-year bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline, or in some jurisdictions, a master's degree in an engineering discipline plus four to six years of peer-reviewed professional practice and passage of engineering board examinations.

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.

Contents

Personal

Richard Mastracchio was born in Waterbury, Connecticut [1] and graduated from Crosby High School in 1978. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering/computer science from the University of Connecticut in 1982, a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1987, and a Master of Science degree in physical science from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 1991.

Waterbury, Connecticut City in Connecticut, United States

Waterbury is a city in the U.S. state of Connecticut on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles southwest of Hartford and 77 miles northeast of New York City. Waterbury is the second-largest city in New Haven County, Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, Waterbury had a population of 110,366, making it the 10th largest city in the New York Metropolitan Area, 9th largest city in New England and the 5th largest city in Connecticut.

University of Connecticut Public research university in Connecticut

The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a public land grant, National Sea Grant and National Space Grant research university in Storrs, Connecticut, United States. It was founded in 1881.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute private research university in Troy, New York, United States

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or RPI, is a private research university and space-grant institution in Troy, New York, with additional campuses in Hartford and Groton, Connecticut.

He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers scholarly society, publisher and standards organization, headquartered in US

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey. It was formed in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers.

Engineering career

Mastracchio worked for Hamilton Standard in Connecticut as an engineer in the system design group from 1982 until 1987. During that time, he participated in the development of high performance, inertial measurement units and flight control computers.

NASA career

In 1987, Mastracchio moved to Houston, Texas, to work for the Rockwell Shuttle Operations Company at the Johnson Space Center. In 1990, he joined NASA as an engineer in the Flight Crew Operations Directorate. His duties included the development of space shuttle flight software requirements, the verification of space shuttle flight software in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, and the development of ascent and abort crew procedures for the Astronaut Office.

From 1993 until 1996, he worked as an ascent/entry Guidance and Procedures Officer (GPO) in Mission Control. An ascent/entry GPO has both pre-mission and real time Space Shuttle support responsibilities in the areas of onboard guidance, navigation, and targeting. During that time, he supported seventeen missions as a flight controller.

In April 1996, Mastracchio was selected as an Astronaut Candidate and started training in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Mastracchio has worked technical issues for the Astronaut Office Computer Support Branch, for Space Station Operations, and the EVA Branch. He next served as lead for cockpit avionics upgrades.

Mastracchio flew as a mission specialist on STS-106. His next mission was STS-118 in August 2007, followed by STS-131 on April 2010. He has logged over 283 hours in space.

STS-106 human spaceflight

STS-106 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis.

STS-118 human spaceflight

STS-118 was a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by the orbiter Endeavour. STS-118 lifted off on 8 August 2007 from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida and landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC on 21 August 2007.

STS-131 human spaceflight

STS-131 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Space ShuttleDiscovery launched on 5 April 2010 at 6:21 am from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A, and landed at 9:08 am on 20 April 2010 on runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. The mission marked the longest flight for space shuttle Discovery.

Mastracchio was a flight engineer on Expedition 38/39 aboard the International Space Station and was one of the astronauts repairing the malfunctioning main cooling system during the mission. He returned to Earth on May 13, 2014.

Expedition 38 38th expedition to the International Space Station

Expedition 38 was the 38th expedition to the International Space Station.

Expedition 39 39th expedition to the International Space Station

Expedition 39 was the 39th expedition to the International Space Station. It marked the first time the ISS had been under command of a Japanese astronaut, space veteran Koichi Wakata. After Expedition 21 in 2009 and Expedition 35 in 2013, it was only the third time an ISS crew was led by neither a NASA nor an RSA crew member.

He retired from NASA in June 2017.

Spaceflight experience

STS-106

The STS-106 crew on the ISS. Mastracchio is pictured on the top row, second right STS106 Crew Portrait.jpg
The STS-106 crew on the ISS. Mastracchio is pictured on the top row, second right

Atlantis (September 8–20, 2000). During the 12-day mission, the crew prepared the International Space Station for the arrival of the first permanent crew. The five astronauts and two cosmonauts delivered more than 6,600 pounds of supplies and installed batteries, power converters, a toilet and a treadmill. Two crewmembers performed a space walk to connect power, data and communications cables between the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module and the other station modules. Mastracchio was the ascent/entry flight engineer, the primary robotic arm operator, and responsible for the transfer of items from the Space Shuttle to the Space Station. STS-106 orbited the Earth 185 times, and covered 4.9 million miles in 11 days, 19 hours, and 10 minutes.

STS-118

Mastracchio rides the CETA Cart on the STS-118 mission. STS-118 EVA3 Rick Mastracchio on a CETA cart.jpg
Mastracchio rides the CETA Cart on the STS-118 mission.

Endeavour (August 8–21, 2007) was the 119th space shuttle flight, the 22nd flight to the station, and the 20th flight for Endeavour. During the mission Endeavour's crew successfully added another truss segment, a new gyroscope and external spare parts platform to the International Space Station. Mastracchio was the ascent/entry flight engineer and participated in three of the four spacewalks. Traveling 5.3 million miles in space, the STS-118 mission was completed in 12 days, 17 hours, 55 minutes and 34 seconds.

STS-131

Discovery (April 5–20, 2010), a resupply mission to the International Space Station, was launched at night from the Kennedy Space Center.

Mastracchio pictured during an EVA with Clayton Anderson as part of STS-131 STS-131 EVA1 Rick Mastracchio 3.jpg
Mastracchio pictured during an EVA with Clayton Anderson as part of STS-131

On arrival at the station, Discovery’s crew dropped off more than 27,000 pounds of hardware, supplies and equipment, including a tank full of ammonia coolant, new crew sleeping quarters, and three experiment racks. As the EVA lead, Mastracchio performed three spacewalks during this mission and logged 20 hours and 17 minutes of evtravehicular activity. On the return journey, the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module inside Discovery’s payload bay was packed with over 6,000 pounds of hardware, science results, and trash. The STS-131 mission was accomplished in 15 days, 02 hours, 47 minutes, 10 seconds, and traveled 6,232,235 statute miles in 238 orbits. Mastracchio launched on Expedition 38/39 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station along with Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata. During his stay aboard the space station, Mastracchio conducted three spacewalks, the first two to remove and replace a faulty cooling pump, and the third to remove and replace a failed backup computer relay box. Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata returned to Earth after 188 days in space. During the expedition, the crew completed 3,008 orbits of the Earth and traveled more than 79.8 million miles.

Expedition 38/39

Mastracchio launched for his fourth space flight onboard Soyuz TMA-11M alongside veteran Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin and JAXA’s Koichi Wakata, with additional focus on the launch due to a publicity stunt related to the 2014 Winter Olympics, due to be held in Sochi.

Mastracchio (right) pictured with Mike Hopkins in the Unity node of the ISS ISS-38 Michael Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio with a Thanksgiving meal.jpg
Mastracchio (right) pictured with Mike Hopkins in the Unity node of the ISS

The Soyuz followed the new rendezvous profile, and the crew docked with the ISS approximately 6 hours after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Mastracchio (right) pictured next to the Soyuz rocket Soyuz TMA-11M crew in front of their spacecraft.jpg
Mastracchio (right) pictured next to the Soyuz rocket

Mastracchio performed 3 EVAs during the mission, 2 with Michael S. Hopkins, and his final career EVA with Steven Swanson, whereby they replaced a backup multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM) that failed during routine testing April 11, 2014. They duration of the EVA was 1 hour and 36 minutes.

Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata returned to Earth on May 14, 2014, after spending nearly 188 days in space.

Post-NASA Career

On June 19, 2017, Mastracchio was appointed Senior Director of Operations for Commercial Resupply Services at Orbital ATK.

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