January 1999 portrait
Rick Douglas Husband
July 12, 1957
Amarillo, Texas, U.S.
|Died||February 1, 2003 45) (aged|
|Alma mater|| Texas Tech, B.S. 1980|
Fresno State University, M.S. 1990
|Rank||Colonel, United States Air Force|
Time in space
|25d 17h 33m|
|Selection||1994 NASA Group 15|
Rick Douglas Husband (July 12, 1957 – February 1, 2003) (Colonel, USAF) was an American astronaut and fighter pilot. He traveled into space twice: as Pilot of STS-96 and Commander of STS-107. He and the rest of the crew of STS-107 were killed when Columbia disintegrated during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. Husband is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
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.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the fourth in order of precedence. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.
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.
Husband was born on July 12, 1957, in Amarillo, Texas. At the age of 17, he earned his pilot's license while flying out of Tradewind Airport. He graduated with honors from Amarillo High School in 1975. Husband earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1980, after 5 years of study. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a pilot in the US Air Force, having been enrolled in ROTC his last two years of college. Husband underwent pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, in Enid, Oklahoma. This was followed by Land Survival School in at Fairchild Air Force Base, in Spokane, Washington, and Fighter Lead-in School in New Mexico. Evelyn and Rick were married on 27 Feb. 1982. Rick trained in the F-4 at Homestead Air Force Base next.
Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States. It is also the largest city in the Texas Panhandle, and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. The estimated population was 199,826 as of 2017. The Amarillo metropolitan area has an estimated population of 276,020 in four counties as of 2017. The metro population is projected to surpass 310,000 in 2020.
Tradewind Airport is a privately owned public use airport in Randall County, Texas, United States. It is located three nautical miles southeast of the central business district of Amarillo, Texas.
Amarillo High School is a school located in the city of Amarillo, Texas, United States and is one of four high schools in the Amarillo Independent School District and classified as a 5A school by the UIL. In 2015, the school was rated "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency.
Husband was assigned to a squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia flying the F-4E. Rick then transferred to George AFB, in Victorville, California in Dec. 1985, where he became an F-4 instructor. By then he had accumulated 1000 hours of flying time. 30,32:
Moody Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force installation near Valdosta, Georgia.
Valdosta is a city in and the county seat of Lowndes County, located on the southern border of Georgia, United States. As of 2013, Valdosta has a total population of 56,481, and is the 14th largest city in Georgia.
Victorville is a city located in the Victor Valley of southwestern San Bernardino County, California. Its estimated population as of July 1, 2013 was 121,096.
In December 1987, Husband was assigned to Edwards Air Force Base in California, where he attended the USAF Test Pilot School. Upon completion of test pilot school, Husband served as a test pilot flying the F-4 and all five models of the F-15 Eagle. In the F-15 Combined Test Force, Husband was the program manager for the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 increased performance engine, and also served as the F-15 Aerial Demonstration Pilot.
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.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
Pratt & Whitney is an American aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies (UTC). Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut. As one of the "big three" aero-engine manufacturers, it competes with General Electric and Rolls-Royce, although it has also formed joint ventures with both of these companies. In addition to aircraft engines, Pratt & Whitney manufactures gas turbines for industrial and power generation, and marine turbines. As of 2017, the company reported having 38,737 employees supporting more than 11,000 customers in 180 countries around the world. In 2013, Pratt & Whitney's revenue totaled $14.5 billion.
In June 1992, Husband was assigned to the Aircraft and Armament Evaluation Establishment at Boscombe Down, England, as an exchange test pilot with the Royal Air Force. At Boscombe Down, Husband was the Tornado GR1 and GR4 Project Pilot and served as a test pilot in the Hawk, Hunter, Buccaneer, Jet Provost, Tucano, and Harvard.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.
Husband logged over 3,800 hours of flight time in more than 40 different types of aircraft.
An aircraft is a machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines. Common examples of aircraft include airplanes, helicopters, airships, gliders, paramotors and hot air balloons.
Husband was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in December 1994, the same week he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. 67 He reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995 to begin a year of training and evaluation. Upon completion of training, Husband was named the Astronaut Office representative for Advanced Projects at Johnson Space Center, working on Space Shuttle Upgrades, the Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) and studies to return to the Moon and travel to Mars. He eventually served as Chief of Safety for the Astronaut Office. He flew as Pilot on STS-96 in 1999, and logged 235 hours and 13 minutes in space. Husband was later assigned to command the crew of STS-107 which was launched early in 2003.:
|US Air Force Command Astronaut Badge|
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal (posthumous)|
|Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Aerial Achievement Medal|
|Air Force Commendation Medal|
|Congressional Space Medal of Honor (posthumous)|
|NASA Distinguished Service Medal (posthumous)|
|NASA Space Flight Medal (posthumous)|
|National Defense Service Medal|
|Air Force Longevity Service Award with two oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Training Ribbon|
Two NASA Group Achievement Awards.
Husband describes how he became a shuttle commander having flown in only one other space flight:
Rick Husband before his first flight:
Husband was also well known for his faith, and in the last-request forms that astronauts fill out before every flight, he left his pastor a personal note:
Husband's wife Evelyn details her Christian life with Rick and his struggles to fulfill his lifelong dream to become an astronaut in the 2004 book High Calling: The Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband co-written with Donna VanLiere. The Husbands have two children, a daughter Laura and a son Matthew. Evelyn married Bill Thompson in January 2008 and was the keynote speaker for the memorial ceremony at the Astronaut Memorial "Space Mirror" at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, five years after the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy.
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