Encyclopedia Astronautica
Clifford



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Clifford
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Clifford, Michael Richard Uram 'Rich' (1952-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-53, STS-59, STS-76. US Army

Grew up in Ogden, Utah. US Army officer. Total EVA Time: 0.25 days. Number of EVAs: 1.


NASA Official Biography

NAME: Michael Richard "Rich" Clifford (Lieutenant Colonel, USA)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Born October 13, 1952 in San Bernadino, California, but considers Ogden, Utah, to be his hometown. Married to the former Nancy Elizabeth Brunson of Darlington, South Carolina. They have two sons. He enjoys flying, golf, tennis, water and snow skiing, baseball, and coaching youth sports. His parents, Gordon and Lenore Clifford, reside in Ogden. Her parents, R. Ben and Mary Lee Brunson, reside in Darlington..

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Ben Lomond High School, Ogden, Utah in 1970; received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, in 1974, and a master of science degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1982.

MARITAL STATUS:
Married to the former Nancy Elizabeth Brunson of Darlington, South Carolina. Her parents, R. Ben and Mary Lee Brunson, reside in Darlington.

CHILDREN:
Richard Benjamin, March 14, 1980; Brandon Brunson, May 19, 1983.

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS:
Enjoys flying, golf, tennis, water and snow skiing, baseball, and coaching youth sports.

ORGANIZATIONS:
Member of the Association of Space Explorers, American Helicopter Society, Army Aviation Association, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

SPECIAL HONORS:
Recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, NASA Space Flight Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

EXPERIENCE:
Clifford graduated from West Point in June 1974 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served a tour with the 10th Cavalry in Fort Carson, Colorado. He then entered the U.S. Army Aviation School in 1976. He was the top graduate of his flight class and was designated an Army Aviator in October 1976. He was subsequently assigned for three years as a service platoon commander with the Attack Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Nuremberg, West Germany. After completing a master of science degree at Georgia Tech in 1982, he was assigned to the Department of Mechanics at West Point as an instructor and assistant professor. In December 1986 he graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and was designated an Experimental Test Pilot. A Master Army Aviator, he has logged 3,400 flying hours in a wide variety of fixed and rotary winged aircraft. In December 1995 Lieutenant Colonel Clifford retired from the United States Army.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
As a military officer, Clifford was assigned to the Johnson Space Center in July of 1987. As a Space Shuttle Vehicle Integration engineer, his duties involved engineering liaison for launch and landing operations of the Space Shuttle Program. He was involved in design certification and integration of the Shuttle Crew Escape System, and was an executive board member of the Solid Rocket Booster Postflight Assessment Team. Selected as an astronaut by NASA in July 1990, Clifford has served in a variety of technical assignments. From April to August 1991, Clifford was assigned to the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch where he participated in the design, development, and evaluation of Space Shuttle payloads and crew equipment having extravehicular activity (EVA) interfaces. From May 1994 to September 1995 he served as lead for space station vehicle/assembly issues. A veteran of three space flights, Clifford flew as a mission specialist on STS-53 in 1992, STS-59 in 1994, and STS-76 in 1996. He has logged 665 hours in space, including a 6-hour spacewalk.

Clifford first flew on the crew of STS-53 which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 2, 1992, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission carried a Department of Defense payload and a variety of secondary payloads. Clifford was responsible for operating a number of experiments which included the Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment (FARE) and the Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test (BLAST). FARE was a microgravity fluid transfer experiment designed to evaluate improved spacecraft propellant tanks. BLAST was a hand-held laser energy detector designed to detect and interpret a data message in a low-power Earth-based laser. After completing 115 orbits of the Earth, STS-53 landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 9, 1992.

He next served aboard Endeavour on the STS-59 Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) mission which launched April 9, 1994. SRL consisted of three large radars, SIR-C/X-SAR (Shuttle Imaging Radar C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar), and a carbon monoxide sensor that were used to enhance studies of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. The imaging radars operated in three frequencies and four polarizations. This multispectral capability of the radars provided information about the Earth's surface over a wide range of scales not discernible with previous single-frequency experiments. The carbon monoxide sensor (MAPS) used gas filter radiometry to measure the global distribution of CO in the troposphere. Real time crew observations of surface phenomena and climatic conditions augmented with over 14,000 photographs aided investigators in interpretation and calibration of the data. The mission concluded on April 20, 1994, with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base after orbiting the Earth 183 times in 269 hours.

Clifford next served on STS-76, the third docking mission to the Russian space station Mir, which launched on March 22, 1996 with a crew of six aboard Atlantis. Following rendezvous and docking with Mir, transfer of a NASA Astronaut to Mir for a five month stay was accomplished to begin a continuous presence of U.S. astronauts aboard Mir for the next two year period. The crew also transferred 4800 pounds of science and mission hardware, food, water and air to Mir and returned over 1100 pounds of U.S. and ESA science and Russian hardware. Clifford performed a 6-hour spacewalk, the first while docked to an orbiting space station, to mount experiment packages on the Mir docking module to detect and assess debris and contamination in a space station environment. The experiments will be retrieved by a future shuttle mission. This mission was also the first flight of Kidsat, an electronic camera controlled by classroom students via a Ku-bank link between JSC Mission Control and the Shuttle, which uses digitized photography from the Shuttle for science and education. Following 145 orbits of the Earth, Atlantis landed with a crew of five at Edwards Air Force Base in California on March 31, 1996.

Rich Clifford left NASA in January 1997 to accept the position of Space Station Flight Operations Manager for Boeing Defense and Space Group.

JANUARY 1997

Birth Place: San Bernadino, California.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1952.10.13.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 27.77 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • NASA Group 13 - 1990 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: The Hairballs. As the 13th astronaut group, the 'unlucky' theme was discussed in designing an emblem for the group. A black cat was used on an early patch design rejected by NASA. This reminded some of hairballs and the group members adopted this as a nickname. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-53 Crew: Bluford, Cabana, Clifford, Voss, Walker Dave. Manned five crew. Deployed classified military satellite USA-89. The ODERACS payload was unable to be deployed because of payload equipment malfunction. More...
  • STS-59 Crew: Apt, Chilton, Clifford, Godwin, Gutierrez, Jones. Carried SRL-1 / SIR-C SAR radar. The Space Radar Laboratory obtained radar high-resolution images of approximately 25 percent of the planet's land surfaces. More...
  • Mir NASA-1 Crew: Lucid. First American aboard Mir for extended stay. Backup crew: Blaha. More...
  • STS-76 Crew: Chilton, Clifford, Godwin, Searfoss, Sega. Shuttle-Mir Mission 3. First American EVA on Mir space station. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • US Army American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. US Army, 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.

Clifford Chronology


1990 January 17 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 13 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bursch; Chiao; Clifford; Cockrell; Collins, Eileen; Currie; Gregory, William; Halsell; Harris; Helms; Jones; McArthur; Newman; Ochoa; Precourt; Searfoss; Sega; Thomas; Voss, Janice; Walz; Wilcutt; Wisoff; Wolf. 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.. Reported to the Johnson Space Center in late July 1990 to begin their year long training. Chosen from 1945 qualified applicants, then 106 finalists screened between September and November 1989.


1992 December 2 - . 13:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-53.
  • STS-53 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Bluford; Cabana; Clifford; Voss; Walker, Dave. Payload: Discovery F15 / USA-89. Mass: 11,868 kg (26,164 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Cabana; Clifford; Voss; Walker, Dave. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-53. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 7.31 days. Decay Date: 1992-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 22259 . COSPAR: 1992-086A. Apogee: 376 km (233 mi). Perigee: 365 km (226 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Manned five crew. Deployed classified military satellite USA 89. The ODERACS payload was unable to be deployed because of payload equipment malfunction. Payloads: Department of Defense (DOD)1; Glow Experiment/Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment Payload (GCP); Orbital Debris Radar Calibration System (ODERACS); Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test (BLAST); Cloud Logic To Optimize Use of Defense Systems (CLOUDS) 1A; Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM); Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Equipment (FARE); Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User-friendly, Location-targeting and Environmental System (HER-CULES); Microencapsulation in Space (MIS)-1; Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME) III; Spare Tissue Loss (STL); Visual Function Tester (VFT)2.

1992 December 9 - .
1994 April 9 - . 11:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-59.
  • STS-59 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Apt; Chilton; Clifford; Godwin; Gutierrez; Jones. Payload: Endeavour F06 / MAPS. Mass: 12,490 kg (27,530 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Apt; Chilton; Clifford; Godwin; Gutierrez; Jones. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-59. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 11.24 days. Decay Date: 1994-04-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 23042 . COSPAR: 1994-020A. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi). Perigee: 194 km (120 mi). Inclination: 56.9000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. Carried SIR-C SAR radar. Payloads: Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) 1; Consortium for Materials Development in Space Com-plex Autonomous Payload (CONCAP) IV; three getaway special (GAS) payloads; Space Tissue Loss (STL) A, B; Visual Function Tester (VFT) 4; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II.

1994 April 20 - .
1996 March 22 - . 08:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-76.
  • STS-76 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Chilton; Clifford; Godwin; Lucid; Searfoss; Sega. Payload: Atlantis F16 / Spacehab-SM. Mass: 6,753 kg (14,887 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chilton; Clifford; Godwin; Lucid; Searfoss; Sega. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-76; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 9.22 days. Decay Date: 1996-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 23831 . COSPAR: 1996-018A. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 394 km (244 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Shuttle-Mir Mission 3. Docked with the Mir space station 24 March 1996; Shannon Lucid was left on Mir for an extended stay. First American EVA on Mir. Payloads: SPACEHAB/Mir 03; KidSat; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II, Configuration M; RME 1304óMir/ Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP); orbiter docking system RME 1315; Trapped Ions in Space Experiment (TRIS); Extravehicular Activity Development Flight Test (EDFT) 04.

1996 March 27 - . 06:34 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-76-1 - . Crew: Godwin; Clifford. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.25 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Godwin; Clifford. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: STS-76; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Mir. Summary: Attached MEEP materials exposure experiment to outside of Mir (retrieved on STS-86)..

1996 March 31 - .
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