Encyclopedia Astronautica
Baker, Mike

Baker Mike
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Baker, Michael Allen 'Mike' (1953-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-43, STS-52, STS-68, STS-81.

Grew up in Lemoore, California. Educated Texas; ETPS; Edwards. US Air Force test pilot.

Official NASA Biography - 1997

NAME: Michael A. Baker (Captain, USN)
NASA Astronaut

Born October 27, 1953, in Memphis, Tennessee, but considers Lemoore, California, to be his hometown. Married to the former Deidra A. Mudurian of San Francisco, California. Two children. He enjoys tennis, swimming, hiking, and running. His parents, Mr. & Mrs. Clyde E. Baker, reside in Lemoore, California. Her mother, Mrs. Patricia TeStruth, resides in San Jose, California. Her father, Mr. Myron Mudurian, resides in Akron, Ohio..

Graduated from Lemoore Union High School, Lemoore, California, in 1971; received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas in 1975.

Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Association of Naval Aviation, the Tailhook Association, Association of Space Explorers, National Aeronautic Association, Sierra Club, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Member of the Advisory Committee to the University of Texas College of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering Department.

Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, 2 Defense Meritorious Service Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Unit Commendation, 3 Meritorious Unit Commendations, the Battle "E" Award, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 4 NASA Space Flight Medals, 3 Navy Expeditionary Medals, the National Defense Medal, 2 Sea Service Awards, and the Overseas Service Award. Named 1993 Outstanding University of Texas Alumni.

After graduation from the University of Texas, Baker completed flight training and earned his Wings of Gold at Naval Air Station Chase Field, Beeville, Texas, in 1977. In 1978, he was assigned to Attack Squadron 56, embarked in the USS Midway, homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, where he flew the A-7E Corsair II. In late 1980 he was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 30 as the air wing landing signal officer. He attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 1981 and, after graduation, was assigned to the Carrier Suitability Branch of the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate. While there, Baker conducted carrier suitability structural tests, aircraft carrier catapult and arresting gear certification tests, and automatic carrier landing system certification and verification tests on the various aircraft carriers of the Navy's fleet in the A-7 aircraft. In 1983, he returned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School as an instructor. He was then assigned as the U.S. Navy exchange instructor at the Empire Test Pilots School in Boscombe Down, England, teaching performance, flying qualities and systems flight test techniques.

He has logged over 5,400 hours flying time in approximately 50 different types of airplanes, including tactical jets, VSTOL, multi-engine transport and rotary wing aircraft, and has over 300 carrier landings to his credit.

Selected by NASA in June 1985, Baker became an astronaut in July 1986 upon completion of a one-year training and evaluation program.

Following the Challenger accident, from January 1986 to December 1987, Baker was assigned as a member of the team that was pursuing redesign, modification and improvements to the Shuttle Landing and Deceleration Systems, including nosewheel steering, brakes, tires, and drag chute, in an effort to provide greater safety margins during landing and rollout. He was then assigned to the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL), where he was involved in the checkout and verification of the computer software and hardware interfaces for STS-26 (the return-to-flight mission) and subsequent flights.

Baker then served as an ascent, entry and orbit spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for STS-27, STS-29, STS-30, STS-28, STS-34, STS-33, STS-32, STS-36, STS-31, STS-38, and STS-35. In this capacity his duties included communication with the Shuttle crew during simulations and actual missions, as well as working procedural problems and modifications between missions. He served as the leader of the Astronaut Support Personnel team at the Kennedy Space Center for Shuttle Missions STS-44, STS-42 and STS-45. From December 1992 to January 1994 he was assigned as the Flight Crew Operations Directorate Representative to the Space Shuttle Program Office. From March to October 1995 he served as the Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia,. He was responsible for the coordination and implementation of mission operation activities in the Moscow region for the joint U.S./Russian Shuttle/Mir program.

A veteran of four space flights, Baker has logged 965 hours in space. He served as pilot on STS-43 (August 2-11, 1991) and STS-52 (October 22 to November 1, 1992), and was the mission commander on STS-68 (September 30 to October 11, 1994) and STS-81 (January 12-22, 1997).

He is currently assigned as the Assistant Director of Johnson Space Center (JSC) for Human Space Flight Programs, Russia, responsible for implementation and integration of NASA's human space flight programs in Russia. These activities include International Space Station (ISS) training, operations, technical liaison, logistics and personnel administration support. He also serves as the NASA JSC representative to the Russian Space Agency, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City; Mission Control Center-Moscow, Energia Rocket and Spacecraft Corporation, Krunichev State Scientific and Production Space Center and other Russian government agencies and manufacturers involved in the ISS program.

STS-43 Space Shuttle Atlantis launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 2, 1991. During the flight, crew members deployed the fifth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-E), in addition to conducting 32 physical, material, and life science experiments, mostly relating to the Extended Duration Orbiter and Space Station Freedom. After 142 orbits of the Earth, the 9-day mission concluded with a landing on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center on August 11, 1991. Mission duration was 213 hours, 21 minutes, 25 seconds.

STS-52 Space Shuttle Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 22, 1992. During the mission crew members deployed the Italian Laser Geodynamic Satellite (LAGEOS) which will be used to measure movement of the Earth's crust, and operated the U.S. Microgravity Payload 1 (USMP-1). Additionally, the Space Vision System (SVS) developed by the Canadian Space Agency was tested by the Canadian payload specialist and the crew using a small target assembly which was released from the remote manipulator system. The SVS will be used for Space Station construction. These three primary payloads together with numerous other payloads operated by the crew encompassed geophysics, materials science, biological research and applied research for Space Station Freedom. Following 159 orbits of the Earth, the 10-day mission concluded with a landing on Runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center on November 1, 1992. Mission duration was 236 hours, 56 minutes, 13 seconds.

STS-68 Space Shuttle Endeavour launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on September 30, 1994. This flight was the second flight of the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) comprised of a large radar called SIR-C/X-SAR (Shuttle Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar) and MAPS (Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites). As part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, SRL was an international, multidisciplinary study of global environmental change, both natural and man-made. The primary objective was to radar map the surface of the Earth to help us understand the contributions of ecology, hydrology, geology, and oceanography to changes in our Planet's environment. Real-time crew observations of environmental conditions, along with over 14,000 photographs, aided in interpretation of the radar images. This SRL mission was a highly successful test of technology intended for long-term environmental and geological monitoring of planet Earth. Following 183 orbits of the Earth, the eleven-day mission concluded with a landing on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 11, 1994. Mission duration was 269 hours, 46 minutes, 10 seconds.

STS-81 Space Shuttle Atlantis launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on January 12, 1997. STS-81 was the fifth in a series of joint missions between the U.S. Space Shuttle and the Russian Space Station Mir and the second one involving an exchange of U.S. astronauts. In five days of docked operations more than three tons of food, water, experiment equipment and samples were moved back and forth between the two spacecraft. Following 160 orbits of the Earth the STS-81 mission concluded with a landing on Kennedy Space Center's Runway 33 ending a 3.9 million mile journey. Mission duration was 244 hours, 56 minutes.


Birth Place: Memphis, Tennessee.
Status: Active.

Born: 1953.10.27.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 40.21 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-43 Crew: Adamson, Baker Mike, Blaha, Low, Lucid. Manned five crew. Deployed TDRS 5 satellite. More...
  • STS-52 Crew: Baker Mike, Jernigan, MacLean, Shepherd, Veach, Wetherbee. Deployed Lageos 2, CTA. External tank lost a 10 x 20 cm corner of the left bipod ramp; orbiter took a higher-than-average 290 hits on upper and lower tiles. More...
  • STS-68 Crew: Baker Mike, Bursch, Jones, Smith Steven, Wilcutt, Wisoff. Carried SIR-C SAR. Continued high-resolution radar mapping of the earth begun on STS-59. More...
  • Mir NASA-3 Crew: Linenger. Linenger relieved Blaha as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Foale. More...
  • STS-81 Crew: Baker Mike, Grunsfeld, Ivins, Jett, Wisoff. Transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from Mir. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Mir The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps. More...
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

  • NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Baker, Mike Chronology

1984 May 23 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 11 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Apt; Baker, Mike; Cabana; Duffy; Gemar; Godwin; Henricks; Hieb; Jernigan; Meade; Oswald; Thorne; Thuot. 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.. Thirteen astronauts, taken from 33 civilians and 133 military applicants for the 1984 selection. 59 of these were screened for the final selection.

1991 August 2 - . 15:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-43.
  • STS-43 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Adamson; Baker, Mike; Blaha; Low; Lucid. Payload: Atlantis F09 / TDRS 5 [IUS]. Mass: 21,265 kg (46,881 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Adamson; Baker, Mike; Blaha; Low; Lucid. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-43. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 8.89 days. Decay Date: 1991-08-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 21638 . COSPAR: 1991-054A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 301 km (187 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned five crew. Deployed TDRS 5 satellite. Payloads: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-E/lnertial Upper Stage (lUS), Space Station Heatpipe Advanced Radiator Element (SHARE)-ll, Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) instrument 03, Optical Communications Through the Shuttle Window (OCTW), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Auroral Photography Experiment (APE)-B, Bioserve-lnstrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus (BlMDA)-02, Investigations Into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP)-03, Protein Crystal Growth Ill Block Il, Space Acceleration Measure-ment System (SAMS), Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE)-02, Tank Pressure Control Experiment (TPCE).

1991 August 11 - .
1992 October 22 - . 17:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-52.
  • STS-52 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Baker, Mike; Jernigan; MacLean; Shepherd; Veach; Wetherbee. Payload: Columbia F13 / Lageos 2 [Iris] / CTA. Mass: 9,106 kg (20,075 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker, Mike; Jernigan; MacLean; Shepherd; Veach; Wetherbee. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-52. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 9.87 days. Decay Date: 1992-11-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 22194 . COSPAR: 1992-070A. Apogee: 307 km (190 mi). Perigee: 304 km (188 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Deployed Lageos 2, CTA. Payloads: Laser Geodynamic Satellite (LAGEOS) II/ Italian Research Interim Stage (IRIS), Canadian Experiments (CANEX) 2, United States Micro-gravity Payload (USMP) 1, Attitude Sensor Pack-age (ASP), Tank Pressure Control Experiment (TPCE), Physiological Systems Experiment (PSE), Heat Pipe Performance (HPP) experiment, Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Shuttle Plume Impingement Experiment (SPIE), Commercial Materials ITA Experiment (CMIX), Crystals by Vapor Transport Experiment (CVTE).

1992 November 1 - .
1994 September 30 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-68.
  • STS-68 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Baker, Mike; Bursch; Jones; Smith, Steven; Wilcutt; Wisoff. Payload: Endeavour F07 / SRL-2. Mass: 12,510 kg (27,570 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker, Mike; Bursch; Jones; Smith, Steven; Wilcutt; Wisoff. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-68. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 11.24 days. Decay Date: 1994-10-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 23285 . COSPAR: 1994-062A. Apogee: 212 km (131 mi). Perigee: 199 km (123 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Carried SIR-C SAR. Landed at Edwards Air Force Base on October 11. Payloads: Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) 2, five Getaway Special payloads, Chromosome and Plant Cell Division in Space (CHROMEX) 5, Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) 01, Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM), Military Application of Ship Tracks (MAST), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG).

1994 October 11 - .
1997 January 12 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-81.
  • STS-81 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Baker, Mike; Jett; Wisoff; Grunsfeld; Ivins; Linenger. Payload: Atlantis F18 / Spacehab Double Module. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker, Mike; Jett; Wisoff; Grunsfeld; Ivins; Linenger. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22; STS-81; Mir NASA-3. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 10.20 days. Decay Date: 1997-01-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 24711 . COSPAR: 1997-001A. Apogee: 380 km (230 mi). Perigee: 343 km (213 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.80 min. After a night launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Shuttle docked with Mir at 03:55 GMT on January 14. STS-81 transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from the Mir, the largest transfer of items to that date. During the docked phase, 640 kg of water, 515 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,000 kg of Russian logistics, and 120 kg of miscellaneous material were transferred to Mir. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 570 kg of U.S. science material, 405 kg of Russian logistics and 98 kg of miscellaneous material. At 02:16 GMT January 19, Atlantis separated from Mir after picking up John Blaha, who had arrived aboard STS-79 on September 19, 1996, and dropping off Jerry Linenger, who was to stay aboard Mir for over four months. The Shuttle backed off along the -RBAR (i.e. toward the Earth) to a distance of 140 m before beginning a flyaround at 02:31 GMT. Most of the flyaround was at a distance from Mir of 170 m. The first 'orbit' around Mir was complete at 03:15, and the second was completed at 04:02 GMT. Then the Orbiter fired its jets to drift away from the orbit of Mir. NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1997 came to a close with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center at 14:22 GMT on January 22 (after the first opportunity was waved off due to cloud cover at the Cape).

1997 January 22 - .
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