Encyclopedia Astronautica
Coats



icoatsmi.jpg
Coats
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Coats, Michael Lloyd 'Mike' (1946-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-41-D, STS-29, STS-39. Flew 315 combat missions in Vietnam.

Coats was called Superman by his fellow astronauts due to his resemblance to actor Christopher Reeve. He had the constant, uncanny and unnerving habit of flipping a pen into the air, catching it, and continuing the process indefinitely without ever missing. Coats was a quiet family man, devoted to his wife. He never drank or swore or got drunk or indulged in the astronaut groupies.


Official NASA Biography

NAME:Michael L. Coats (Captain, USN)

NASA Astronaut

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born January 16, 1946, in Sacramento, California, but considers Riverside, California, as his hometown. His father, Col. Loyd A. Coats (USAF Ret.), resides in Dunbar, Wisconsin. His mother, Mrs. Jan Coats, resides in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; blue eyes; height: 6 feet; weight: 190 pounds.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Ramona High School, Riverside, California, in 1964; received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1968, a master of science in Administration of Science and Technology from George Washington University in 1977, and master of science in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1979.

MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Diane Eileen Carson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her parents, Dr. and Mrs. James W. Carson, reside in O'Fallon, Illinois.

CHILDREN: Laura M., August 29, 1973; Paul M., November 2, 1978.

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys reading, racquetball, and jogging.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member, Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, 2 Navy Distinguished Flying Crosses, 32 Strike Flight Air Medals, 3 Individual Action Air Medals, 9 Navy Commendation Medals with Combat V, and the NASA Space Flight Medal.

EXPERIENCE: Coats graduated from Annapolis in 1968 and was designated a naval aviator in September 1969. After training as an A-7E pilot, he was assigned to Attack Squadron 192 (VA-192) from August 1970 to September 1972 aboard the USS KITTYHAWK and, during this time, flew 315 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He served as a flight instructor with the A-7E Readiness Training Squadron (VA-122) at Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California, from September 1972 to December 1973 and was then selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Maryland. Following test pilot training in 1974, he was project officer and test pilot for the A-7 and A-4 aircraft at the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate. He served as a flight instructor at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School from April 1976 until May 1977. He then attended the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California, from June 1977 until his selection for the astronaut candidate program.

He has logged over 5,000 hours flying time in 28 different types of aircraft, and 400 carrier landings.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978, Coats became a NASA Astronaut in August 1979. He was a member of the STS-4 astronaut support crew, and was a capsule communicator for STS-4 and STS-5. A veteran of three space flights, Coats flew on STS-41D in 1984, STS-29 in 1989, and STS-39 in 1991. From May1989 to March 1990, he served as Acting Chief of the Astronaut Office.

On his first mission, Coats was pilot on the crew of STS-41D, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 30, 1984. This was the maiden flight of the Orbiter Discovery. During this 6-day mission the crew successfully activated the OAST-1 solar cell wing experiment, deployed three satellites (SBS-D, SYNCOM IV-2, and TELSTAR 3-C), operated the CFES-III experiment, the student crystal growth experiment, and photography experiments using the IMAX motion picture camera. The crew earned the name "Icebusters" in successfully removing hazardous ice particles from the orbiter using the Remote Manipulator System. STS-41D completed 96 orbits of the earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 5, 1984.

In February 1985, Coats was selected as spacecraft commander of STS-61H, which was subsequently canceled after the Challenger accident.

As spacecraft commander of STS-29, Coats and his crew launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, aboard the Orbiter Discovery, on March 13, 1989. During this highly successful five day mission, the crew deployed a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, and performed numerous secondary experiments, including a Space Station "heat pipe" radiator experiment, two student experiments, a protein crystal growth experiment, and a chromosome and plant cell division experiment. In addition, the crew took over 3,000 photographs of the earth using several types of cameras, including the IMAX 70 mm movie camera. Mission duration was 80 orbits and concluded with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on March 18, 1989.

With the completion of his second mission, Coats has logged a total of 264 hours in space.

More recently, Coats commanded a seven man crew on STS-39. This unclassified eight day Department of Defense mission launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on April 28, 1991. Crew members worked around-the-clock in two-shift operations during which they deployed, operated and retrieved the SPAS-II spacecraft, in addition to conducting various science experiments including research of both natural and induced phenomena in the Earth's atmosphere. After completing 134 orbits of the Earth, Discovery and her crew landed at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on May 6, 1991.

With the completion of his third mission, Coats has logged over 463 hours in space.

JUNE 1991

Characteristics

Departed Date: 1991-08-01. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two children. Childhood: Grew up in Riverside, California, son of an Air Force officer.. Education: Annapolis;Patuxent.

Birth Place: Sacramento, California.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1946.01.16.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 19.33 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 8 - 1978 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. Nickname: TFNG - Thirty-Five New Guys, also an obscene military phrase. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-12 Crew: Hartsfield, Coats, Mullane, Hawley, Resnik. Planned TDRS/IUS deployment shuttle mission. Cancelled after IUS failures. More...
  • STS-41-D Crew: Coats, Hartsfield, Hawley, Mullane, Resnik, Walker. First flight of shuttle Discovery. Manned six crew. First flight of space shuttle Discovery; deployed SBS 4, Leasat 1, Telstar 3C. First launch aborted at T-3 seconds after SSMEs ignited, Toilet failed. First occurrence of blow-by in SRB field joints. More...
  • 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-39 Crew: Bluford, Coats, Hammond, Harbaugh, Hieb, McMonagle, Veach. Manned seven crew. Deployed USA-70, CRO A, CRO B, CRO C; deployed and retrieved Infrared Background Signature Survey . 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
  • 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.

Coats Chronology


1978 January 16 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 8 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Brandenstein; Buchli; Coats; Covey; Creighton; Fabian; Fisher; Gardner; Gibson; Gregory; Griggs; Hart; Hauck; Hawley; Hoffman; Lucid; McBride; McNair; Mullane; Nagel; Nelson; Onizuka; Resnik; Ride; Scobee; Seddon; Shaw; Shriver; Stewart; Sullivan. The group was selected to provide pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. 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.. 8,079 applicants, of which half met the basic qualifications. 208 invited for physical tests and interviews. Of the 35 selected, six were women, three were male African-Americans, and one was a male Asian-American.


1984 March - .
1984 August 30 - . 12:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-14/41-D.
  • STS-41-D - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Coats; Hartsfield; Hawley; Mullane; Resnik; Walker. Payload: Discovery F01 / SBS 4[PAM-D] / Telstar 302[PAM-D]. Mass: 21,552 kg (47,514 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Coats; Hartsfield; Hawley; Mullane; Resnik; Walker. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-41-D. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 6.04 days. Decay Date: 1984-09-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 15234 . COSPAR: 1984-093A. Apogee: 307 km (190 mi). Perigee: 300 km (180 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned six crew. First flight of space shuttle Discovery; deployed SBS 4, Leasat 1, Telstar 3C. Payloads: Satellite Business System (SBS)-D commu-nications satellite with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D deployment, Syncom IV-2 communica-tions satellite with its unique stage deployment, Telstar (American Telephone and Telegraph) 3-C with PAM-D deployment, Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST)-1 experiments. Deployment and restowing of large solar array. Continuous Flow Electrophoresis (CFES). IMAX camera.

1984 September 5 - .
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 - .
1991 April 28 - . 11:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-39.
  • STS-39 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Bluford; Coats; Hammond; Harbaugh; Hieb; McMonagle; Veach. Payload: Discovery F12. Mass: 9,712 kg (21,411 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Coats; Hammond; Harbaugh; Hieb; McMonagle; Veach. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-39. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 8.31 days. Decay Date: 1991-05-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 21242 . COSPAR: 1991-031A. Apogee: 263 km (163 mi). Perigee: 248 km (154 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. Manned seven crew. Deployed USA 70, CRO A, CRO B, CRO C; deployed and retrieved IBSS. Payloads: Infrared Background Signature Survey (lBSS), Air Force Program (AFP)-675, Space Test Payload (STP)-I, Multi-Purpose Experiment Canister (MPEC), Cloud Logic to Optimize Use of Defense Systems (CLOUDS)-1A, Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME)-lll.

1991 May 6 - .
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