Encyclopedia Astronautica
Blaha



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Blaha
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
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STS-29
STS-29 Pilot Blaha has blood flow checked by MS Bagian on OV-103's middeck
Credit: NASA
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STS-33
STS-33 Pilot Blaha with his hand on the RHC looks out aft flight deck window
Credit: NASA
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STS-29
STS-29 Pilot Blaha with SE83-9 "Chix in Space" incubator on OV-103's middeck
Credit: NASA
Blaha, John Elmer (1942-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-29, STS-33, STS-43, STS-58, Mir NASA-2. Flew 361 combat missions in Vietnam.

Official NASA Biography - 1997

NAME: John E. Blaha (Colonel, USAF, Ret.)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Born August 26, 1942, in San Antonio, Texas. Married to the former Brenda I. Walters of St. Louis, Missouri. They have three grown children and two grandchildren. He enjoys exercise and tennis.

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Granby High School in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1960; received a bachelor of science in engineering science from the United States Air Force Academy in 1965 and a master of science in astronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1966.

ORGANIZATIONS:
Member Board of Directors, Association of Space Explorers, Purdue Alumni Association, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Air Force Academy Association of Graduates.

SPECIAL HONORS:
NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 4 NASA Space Flight Medals, Countdown Magazine Outstanding Astronaut of 1991, Defense Superior Service medal, Legion of Merit, 2 Air Force Distinguished Flying Crosses, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 18 Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal, the British Royal Air Force Cross, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and the Purdue Engineering Alumnus Award. Outstanding Pilot, F-4 Combat Crew Training. Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year, 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing. Distinguished Graduate Air Force Test Pilot School. Distinguished Graduate Air Command and Staff College.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
Selected as an astronaut in May 1980, Blaha has logged 161 days in space on 5 space missions: Commander STS-58, Commander STS-43, Pilot STS-33 and STS-29, and Board Engineer 2 Mir-22. He has logged more than 7,000 hours of flying time in 34 different aircraft, and has written numerous technical articles on spacecraft performance and control.

On his first space mission Blaha was the STS-29 pilot. The five-man crew launched on the Space Shuttle Discovery on March 13, 1989, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on March 18, 1989. During this very successful mission the crew deployed the East Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, and performed eight scientific/medical experiments.

Blaha also was the pilot on the crew of STS-33 which launched at night from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 22, 1989, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. The five-day mission carried Department of Defense payloads and other secondary payloads. After 79 orbits of the Earth, this highly successful mission concluded on November 27, 1989, with a hard surface landing on Runway 4 at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

On STS-43 Blaha commanded a five-person crew aboard the Orbiter Atlantis. The nine-day mission launched from the Kennedy Space Center on August 2, 1991. During the flight crew members deployed the West Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, and conducted 32 physical, material, and life science experiments that supported the development of the Extended Duration Orbiter and Space Station. After 142 orbits of the Earth, this very significant mission concluded with a landing on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center on August 11, 1991.

On STS-58 Blaha commanded a seven-person life science research mission aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, launching from the Kennedy Space Center on October 18, 1993, and landing at Edwards Air Force Base on Runway 22 on November 1, 1993. This record duration fourteen-day Space Shuttle mission has been recognized by NASA management as the most successful and efficient Spacelab flight that NASA has flown. The crew performed neurovestibular, cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary, metabolic, and musculoskeletal medical experiments on themselves and 48 rats, expanding our knowledge of human and animal physiology both on earth and in space flight. In addition, the crew performed 16 engineering tests aboard the Orbiter Columbia and 20 Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project experiments.

Blaha began Russian language training in August 1994 at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and commenced an intensive training program at the Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia in January 1995. He launched on STS-79 on September 16, 1996. After docking he transferred to the Mir Space Station. Assigned as a Board Engineer 2, he spent the following 4 months with the Mir 22 Cosmonaut crew conducting material science, fluid science, and life science research. Blaha returned to earth aboard STS-81 on January 22, 1997.

AIR FORCE EXPERIENCE:
Blaha received his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, in 1967. He was subsequently assigned as an operational pilot flying F-4, F-102, F-106, and A-37 aircraft (completing 361 combat missions in Vietnam).

He attended the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1971, and piloted the NF-104 research aircraft to 104,400 feet. Following graduation, he served as an F-104 instructor pilot at the test pilot school, teaching low lift-to-drag approach, zoom, performance, stability/control, and spin flight test techniques.

In 1973, he was assigned as a test pilot working with the Royal Air Force at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down, United Kingdom. During a 3-year tour, he flew stability/control, performance, spin, and weapons delivery flight tests in the Jaguar, Buccaneer, Hawk, and Jet Provost aircraft.

In 1976 he attended the USAF Air Command and Staff College. After graduation, he was assigned to work for the Assistant Chief of Staff, Studies and Analyses, at Headquarters USAF in the Pentagon. During this tour, he presented F-15 and F-16 study results to Department of Defense, State Department, and congressional staffs.

JANUARY 1997

Birth Place: San Antonio, Texas.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1942.08.26.
Spaceflights: 5 .
Total time in space: 161.11 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...
  • NASA Group 9 - 1980 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: 19+80 - The two European astronauts in the group were not considered by the Americans to be part of the 'official' group. This led to a scene at graduation. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-61-H Crew: Coats, Blaha, Springer, Buchli, Fisher, Sudarmono Pratiwi, Wood Nigel. Planned shuttle mission for deployment of commercial communications satellites. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. Backup crew: Akbar, Farrimond. More...
  • STS-29 Crew: Bagian, Blaha, Buchli, Coats, Springer. Manned five crew. Deployed TDRS 4. More...
  • STS-33 Crew: Blaha, Carter, Gregory, Musgrave, Thornton. Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. More...
  • STS-43 Crew: Adamson, Baker Mike, Blaha, Low, Lucid. Manned five crew. Deployed TDRS 5 satellite. More...
  • STS-58 Crew: Blaha, Fettman, Lucid, McArthur, Searfoss, Seddon, Wolf. Biological, microgravity experiments aboard Spacelab 2. More...
  • Mir NASA-1 Crew: Lucid. First American aboard Mir for extended stay. Backup crew: Blaha. More...
  • Mir NASA-2 Crew: Blaha. Blaha relieved Lucid as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Linenger. More...
  • STS-81 Crew: Baker Mike, Grunsfeld, Ivins, Jett, Wisoff. Transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from Mir. More...
  • Mir NASA-3 Crew: Linenger. Linenger relieved Blaha as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Foale. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, 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...

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

Blaha Chronology


1980 May 19 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 9 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bagian; Blaha; Bolden; Bridges; Chang-Diaz; Cleave; Dunbar; Fisher, William; Gardner, Guy; Grabe; Hilmers; Leestma; Lounge; O Connor; Richards; Ross; Smith; Spring; Springer. 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..


1986 June - .
1989 March 13 - . 14:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-29R.
  • STS-29 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Bagian; Blaha; Buchli; Coats; Springer. Payload: Discovery F08 / SHARE. Mass: 17,280 kg (38,090 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bagian; Blaha; Buchli; Coats; Springer. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-29. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 4.99 days. Decay Date: 1989-03-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 19882 . COSPAR: 1989-021A. Apogee: 308 km (191 mi). Perigee: 297 km (184 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned five crew. Deployed TDRS 4. Payloads: Deploy IUS (Inertial Upper Stage) with Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-D. Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Chromosome and Plant Cell Division in Space; IMAX 70mm camera; Shuttle Student Involvement Project (SSIP) experiments: SSIP 82-8, Effects of Weightlessness in Space Flight on the Healing of Bone Fractures, and SSIP 83-9, Chicken Embryo Development in Space; Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

1989 March 18 - .
1989 November 23 - . 00:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-33R.
  • STS-33 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Blaha; Carter; Gregory; Musgrave; Thornton. Payload: Discovery F09 / Magnum 2 [IUS]. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blaha; Carter; Gregory; Musgrave; Thornton. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-33. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1989-11-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 20329 . COSPAR: 1989-090A. Apogee: 214 km (132 mi). Perigee: 207 km (128 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Orbits of Earth: 78. Distance traveled: 3,218,687 km. Landed at: Concrete runway 04 at Edwards Air Force Base, Cali. Landing Speed: 368 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 570.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,366.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission - third space shuttle night launch.

1989 November 28 - .
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 - .
1993 October 18 - . 14:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-58.
  • STS-58 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Blaha; Fettman; Lucid; McArthur; Searfoss; Seddon; Wolf. Payload: Columbia F15 / EDO. Mass: 10,517 kg (23,186 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blaha; Fettman; Lucid; McArthur; Searfoss; Seddon; Wolf. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-58. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 14.01 days. Decay Date: 1993-11-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 22869 . COSPAR: 1993-065A. Apogee: 294 km (182 mi). Perigee: 284 km (176 mi). Inclination: 39.0000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. Summary: Biological, microgravity experiments aboard Spacelab 2. Payloads: Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS) 2, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II..

1993 November 1 - .
1996 September 16 - . 08:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-79.
  • STS-79 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Blaha; Readdy; Wilcutt; Akers; Apt; Walz. Payload: Atlantis F17 / External Airlock/ODS. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blaha; Readdy; Wilcutt; Akers; Apt; Walz. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-79; Mir NASA-2; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-22. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 10.14 days. Decay Date: 1996-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 24324 . COSPAR: 1996-057A. Apogee: 386 km (239 mi). Perigee: 368 km (228 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. On September 19 Atlantis docked with the Russian Mir space station. Aboard Atlantis in the payload bay were the Orbiter Docking System, the modified Long Tunnel, and the Spacehab Double Module, containing supplies for the Mir. Astronaut John Blaha relieved Shannon Lucid as NASA resident on the complex. Atlantis undocked from the Mir complex on September 23 at 23:33 GMT. Valeriy Korzun, Aleksandr Kaleri and John Blaha remain on Mir. On September 26 Atlantis closed its payload bay doors, and at 11:06 GMT fired its OMS engines for a three minute long deorbit burn. After entry interface at 11:42 GMT the spaceship flew across Canada and the US for a landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15 at 12:13 GMT.

1997 January 22 - .
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