Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Bresnik, Randolph James 'Randy' (1967-) American test pilot astronaut, 2004-on.

Educated Citadel; Tennessee-Knoxville.

Official NASA Biography - May 2004

Randy Bresnik, Pilot

AGE: 36

BORN: Fort Knox, Kentucky

EDUCATION: BS, Mathematics, The Citadel, 1989; MS, Aviation Systems, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 2002

CURRENT JOB: Operations Officer, F/A-18 Pilot, MCAS Miramar, San Diego, CA

QUICK FACT: Is getting married in May in a castle in Scotland.

QUOTE: "What I hope to accomplish is to contribute to the NASA team. What more exciting thing can you do?"

Randy Bresnik had been hoping that his next assignment as a U.S. Marine Corps test pilot would be to test a next-generation aircraft. To be selected to help develop a next-generation spacecraft instead, he says, "Holy smokes! That's a dream."

Bresnik, a Marine major, is currently a F/A-18 pilot with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Miramar in San Diego, California. He is approaching 3000 hours of flight experience, including a recent tour in the war in Iraq. "We were there from before day one until the president declared an official end to hostilities," he says.

Bresnik says that he and his dad, a former military pilot in Vietnam, used to build models together when he was a child, including a model of a Gemini capsule with a spacewalker tethered outside. "As a kid, flying in space seems so impossible," he says.

But for a grown-up Bresnik, it is becoming a reality. He is one of two people selected to train as pilot astronauts in the 2004 astronaut candidate class, an assignment that could include development and testing work on the Crew Exploration Vehicle. He reports for training this summer at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

He was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky but moved to southern California when he was just two weeks old. Bresnik graduated from Santa Monica High School before attending The Citadel, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in mathematics. He also holds a Master's degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Growing up in Santa Monica, Bresnik was the only boy in a family with four children. "I had a number of people in my life -- great teachers -- who were pretty influential. I remember a 6th grade teacher, a guidance counselor in junior high, a music teacher in college, all of whom went above and beyond. I've been thinking about them. Would they believe it for a moment that I've been selected to train as an astronaut?"

Bresnik, 36, is getting married at a castle in Scotland in May to a civilian lawyer he met while she was working at the Pentagon. "She's an extraordinary woman. She stuck with me when I got deployed for the war," he says. "We got engaged last July on a boat in the middle of a lake in Idaho."

Bresnik says he is looking forward to helping to fulfill the new Vision for Space Exploration. "What I hope to accomplish is to contribute to the NASA team," he says. "What more exciting thing can you do?"

Birth Place: Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Status: Active.

Born: 1967.09.11.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 10.80 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-129 Crew: Hobaugh, Wilmore, Foreman, Bresnik, Melvin, Satcher. Resupply mission to deliver to the ISS the EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 1 (ELC1) and EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 2 (ELC2). More...

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

Bresnik Chronology

2004 May 6 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 19 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Acaba; Arnold, Ricky; Bresnik; Cassidy; Dutton; Hernandez; Kimbrough; Marshburn; Metcalf-Lindenburger; Satcher; Walker, Shannon. The group was selected to provide pilot and mission specialists for post-ISS spaceflights to the moon and beyond. 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.. Due to a surplus of astronauts and a dearth of missions, NASA cancelled the planned 2002 astronaut selection. The next call for applications was made in May 2003, with a due date of 1 July. 'Educator astronauts' were especially requested, and 1100 applications were received in this category. The final selection was two pilots and nine mission specialists; nine men and two women. Given the drastic reduction if shuttle flights and ISS crew size planned for the post-Columbia disaster period, the chances for astronauts from this group flying in the next decade seemed slim indeed. Also training in this group were three NASDA astronauts from Japan.

2009 November 16 - . 19:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle.
2009 November 21 - .
  • EVA STS-129-2 - . Crew: Foreman; Bresnik. EVA Type: Extravehicular activity. EVA Duration: 0.26 days. Nation: USA. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-129; ISS EO-21; ISS EO-20. Summary: Installed the GATOR (Grappling Adaptor to On-Orbit Railing) bracket to the Columbus laboratory and an additional ham radio antenna. Installed on the truss an antenna for wireless helmet camera video. Relocated the Floating Potential Measurement Unit that .

2009 November 23 - .
  • EVA STS-129-3 - . Crew: Satcher; Bresnik. EVA Type: Extravehicular activity. EVA Duration: 0.24 days. Nation: USA. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-129; ISS EO-21; ISS EO-20. Summary: Installed new High Pressure Gas Tank (HPGT) on Quest airlock. Installed MISSE-7A and 7B on ELC-2. Strapped two micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) shields to External Stowage Platform #2. Relocated foot restraint, released a bolt on Ammonia Tank Asse.

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