Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Robertson, Patricia Consolatrix nee Hilliard (1963-2001) American physician mission specialist astronaut, 1998-2001.

After medical school Patricia Robertson practiced medicine in Pennsylvania 1992-1995. In that year she moved to Houston, working in a series of positions at the Manned Spaceflight Center. She was selected as a mission specialist astronaut in 1998. In 2001 she died of injuries after the crash of a light airplane on which she was a passenger.

Official NASA Biography

NAME: Patricia Hilliard Robertson (M.D.)
NASA Astronaut Candidate (Mission Specialist)

Born March 12, 1963 in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Her hometown is Homer City, Pennsylvania. Her parents are Ilse Hilliard and the late Harold Hilliard of Homer City, Pennsylvania.

Graduated from Homer Center High School, Homer City, Pennsylvania In 1980; received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1985, and a medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1989. Completed a three year residency in Family Medicine in 1992 and was certified by the American Board of Family Practice in the same year. Completed a two year fellowship in Space Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch and NASA, Johnson Space Center in 1997, which included the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course at Brooks Air Force Base.

Aerospace Medicine Association, American Association of Family Practice, Experimental Aircraft Association, International Aerobatic Club, Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association.

NASA Performance Award, Young Investigator Award Finalist (Aerospace Medicine Association), American Flyers Flight Training Scholarship.

After completing her training in Family Medicine in 1992, Dr. Robertson joined a group practice in Erie, Pennsylvania. She was on the staff of St. Vincent hospital for three years where she served as the clinical coordinator for medical student training, and also provided training and supervision for resident physicians. In 1995 Dr. Robertson was one of two fellows selected to study aerospace medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston, and at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. While enrolled as a Space Medicine Fellow, Dr. Robertson completed a research project where she studied eccentric and concentric resistive exercise countermeasures for space flight. Dr. Robertson was a member of the faculty at UTMB in the Department of Family Medicine and emergency medicine. In 1997, Dr. Robertson joined the Flight Medicine Clinic at Johnson Space Center, where she provided health care for astronauts and their families, and served as Chairman of the Bone, Muscle, and Exercise Integrated Product Team. Since 1995 Dr. Robertson has been an FAA Senior Aviation Medical Examiner and Flight Instructor at a local airport.

She holds a Certified Flight Instructor's license and Commercial License, with multiengine and instrument ratings. Dr. Robertson enjoys aerobatic flying, and has over 1400 hours in over 20 different aircraft.

Selected by NASA in June 1998, Dr. Robertson reported for training in August 1998. Astronaut Candidate Training includes orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques.

Dr. Robertson's technical assignment involves representing the Astronaut Office on medical issues for space flight. She is the current astronaut representative for CHECS (Crew Health Care System), Medical Operations, Medical Training and Medical ODF (Operations Data File).


Birth Place: Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Status: Deceased.

Born: 1963.03.12.
Died: 2001.05.24.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • NASA Group 17 - 1998 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: The Penguins. Originally called the Dodos by the Sardines, after an extinct flightless bird; they renamed themselves after a flightless bird that eats fish... More...

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

Hilliard Chronology

1985 July 19 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 17 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Anderson, Clayton; Archambault; Caldwell; Chamitoff; Creamer; Ferguson; Foreman; Fossum; Ham; Hilliard; Johnson, Gregory C; Johnson, Gregory H; Love; Melvin; Morgan; Nespoli; Oefelein; Olivas; Patrick; Poindexter; Pontes; Reisman; Swanson; Vittori. 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.. Of 25 Americans, eight pilots and 17 mission specialists.

2001 May 24 - .
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