Encyclopedia Astronautica
Leestma



ileestma.jpg
Leestma
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Leestma, David Cornell 'Dave' (1949-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-G, STS-28, STS-45.

Educated Annapolis. Total EVA Time: 0.15 days. Number of EVAs: 1.


NASA Official Biography

NAME: David C. Leestma (Captain, USN, ret.)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Born May 6, 1949, in Muskegon, Michigan. Married to the former Patti K. Opp of Dallas, Texas. They have six children. He enjoys golfing, tennis, flying, and fishing. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. Harold F. Leestma, reside in San Clemente, California. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Opp, reside in Wimberley, Texas.

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Tustin High School, Tustin, California, in 1967; received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1971, and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1972.

ORGANIZATIONS:
Associate Fellow, American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics (AIAA); Life Member, Association of Naval Aviation.

SPECIAL HONORS:
The Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation (VX-4), National Defense Service Medal, Battle "E" Award (VF-32), the Rear Admiral Thurston James Award (1973), the NASA Space Flight Medal (1984, 1989, 1992), the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1985, 1988, 1991, 1992), and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (1993, 1994).

EXPERIENCE:
Leestma was graduated first in his class from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971. As a first lieutenant afloat, he was assigned to USS Hepburn (DE-1055) in Long Beach, California, before reporting in January 1972 to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He completed flight training and received his wings in October 1973. He was assigned to VF-124 in San Diego, California, for initial flight training in the F-14A Tomcat and then transferred to VF-32 in June 1974 and was stationed at Virginia Beach, Virginia. Leestma made three overseas deployments to the Mediterranean/North Atlantic areas while flying aboard the USS John F. Kennedy. In 1977, he was reassigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Four (VX-4) at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California. As an operational test director with the F-14A, he conducted the first operational testing of new tactical software for the F-14 and completed the follow-on test and evaluation of new F-14A avionics, including the programmable signal processor. He also served as fleet model manager for the F-14A tactical manual.

He has logged over 3,500 hours of flight time, including nearly 1,500 hours in the F-14A.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
Selected to become an astronaut in 1980, Leestma served as a mission specialist on the crew of STS- 41G, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 5, 1984. It was the sixth flight of the Orbiter Challenger and the thirteenth flight of the Space Shuttle system. The seven-person crew also included two payload specialists: one from Canada, and one a Navy oceanographer. During this mission the crew deployed the ERBS satellite using the remote manipulator system (RMS), operated the OSTA-3 payload (including the SIR-B radar, FILE, and MAPS experiments) and the Large Format Camera (LFC), conducted a satellite refueling demonstration using hydrazine fuel with the Orbital Refueling System (ORS), and conducted numerous in-cabin experiments as well as activating eight "Getaway Special" canisters. Dave Leestma and Kathryn Sullivan successfully conducted a 3-1/2 hour extravehicular activity (EVA) to demonstrate the feasibility of actual satellite refueling. STS-41G completed 132 orbits of the Earth in 197.5 hours before landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 13, 1984.

Following his flight Leestma served as a capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for STS-51C through STS-61A. He was then assigned as the Chief, Mission Development Branch, responsible for assessing the operational integration requirements of payloads that will fly aboard the Shuttle.

Leestma next served on the crew of STS-28, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 8, 1989, aboard the Orbiter Columbia. The mission carried Department of Defense payloads and a number of secondary payloads. After 80 orbits of the Earth, this five-day mission concluded with a lakebed landing on Runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on August 13, 1989.

From February 1990 to September 1991, when he started training for his third space mission, Leestma served as Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations.

On March 24, 1992, Leestma and his crew mates launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, aboard the Orbiter Atlantis on a nine-day mission to study atmospheric and solar phenomena. The mission carried the ATLAS-1 (Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science) Spacelab aloft, as well as a number of additional secondary payloads. STS-45 landed on April 2, 1992 on Runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, after completing 142 orbits of the Earth.

A veteran of three space flights, Leestma has logged a total of 532.7 hours in space.

Leestma was assigned as Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office, and was serving as Acting Chief of the Astronaut Office when selected to his present position in December 1992.

CURRENT ASSIGNMENT:
Leestma is Director of Flight Crew Operations.

JANUARY 1997

Birth Place: Muskegon, Michigan.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1949.05.06.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 22.19 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • 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-41-G Crew: Crippen, Garneau, Leestma, McBride, Ride, Scully-Power, Sullivan. First spaceflight to include two women. First American woman to walk in space. First Canadian astronaut. Record crew size aboard a single spacecraft. Manned seven crew. Deployed Earth Radiation Budget Satellite; performed high resolution Earth imagery. More...
  • STS-61-E Crew: McBride, Richards, Leestma, Hoffman, Parker, Durrance, Parise. Planned Astro-1 shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. Backup crew: Nordsieck. More...
  • STS-61-N Crew: Shaw, McCulley, Leestma, Adamson, Brown Mark, Casserino. Planned Department of Defense shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. Backup crew: Joseph. More...
  • STS-28 Crew: Adamson, Brown Mark, Leestma, Richards, Shaw. Manned five crew. Deployed two classified satellites. More...
  • STS-45 Crew: Bolden, Duffy, Foale, Frimout, Leestma, Lichtenberg, Sullivan. First Belgian astronaut. Manned seven crew. Carried ATLAS-1 experimental package. 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.

Leestma 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..


1984 October 5 - . 11:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-17/41-G.
  • STS-41-G - . Call Sign: Challenger. Crew: Crippen; Garneau; Leestma; McBride; Ride; Scully-Power; Sullivan. Payload: Challenger F06 / ERBS / LFC / ORS. Mass: 10,643 kg (23,463 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Crippen; Garneau; Leestma; McBride; Ride; Scully-Power; Sullivan. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-41-G. Spacecraft: Challenger. Duration: 8.22 days. Decay Date: 1984-10-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 15353 . COSPAR: 1984-108A. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 350 km (210 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Manned seven crew. Deployed ERBS; performed high resolution Earth imagery. Payloads: Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) deployment, Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (OSTA)-3 experiments, Large Format Camera (LFC). First use of Orbital Refueling System (ORS) with extravehicular activity (EVA) astronauts, IMAX camera.

1984 October 11 - .
1984 October 13 - .
1986 March - .
1986 September - .
1989 August 8 - . 12:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-28R.
  • STS-28 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Adamson; Brown, Mark; Leestma; Richards; Shaw. Payload: Columbia F08 / DoD. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Adamson; Brown, Mark; Leestma; Richards; Shaw. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-28. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 5.04 days. Decay Date: 1989-08-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 20164 . COSPAR: 1989-061A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 289 km (179 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.50 min. Manned five crew. Deployed 2 classified satellites. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 287 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 1,618.00 m. Landing Rollout: 1,833.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission.

1989 August 13 - .
1992 March 24 - . 13:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-45.
  • STS-45 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Bolden; Duffy; Foale; Frimout; Leestma; Lichtenberg; Sullivan. Payload: Atlantis F11 / Atlas 1 Fwd. Mass: 8,020 kg (17,680 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bolden; Duffy; Foale; Frimout; Leestma; Lichtenberg; Sullivan. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-45. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 8.92 days. Decay Date: 1992-04-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 21915 . COSPAR: 1992-015A. Apogee: 294 km (182 mi). Perigee: 282 km (175 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. Manned seven crew. Carried ATLAS-1 experimental package. Payloads: Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS)-1, Shuttle Solar Backscat-ter Ultraviolet (SSBUV)-4, Getaway Special Experiment G-229, Space Tissue Loss (STL)-1, Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME)-lIl, Visual Function Tester (VFT)-lI, Cloud Logic To Opti-mize Use of Defense Systems (CLOUDS)-1A, Investigations Into Polymer Membrane Process-ing (IPMP), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX)-Il, Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPl).

1992 April 2 - .
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