Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Melnick, Bruce Edward 'Mel' (1949-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41, STS-49.

Grew up in Clearwater, Florida. Educated USCGA; West Florida. US Coast Guard officer.

Official NASA Biography

NAME: Bruce E. Melnick (Commander, USCG)

NASA Astronaut

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born December 5, 1949, in New York, New York, but considers Clearwater, Florida, to be his hometown. His father, Mr. Edward S. Melnick, resides in Ft. White, Florida. His mother, Mrs. Rita M. Melnick, is deceased.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; green eyes; 5 feet 9 inches; 160 pounds.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Clearwater High School, Clearwater, Florida, in 1967; attended Georgia Tech in 1967-68; received a bachelor of science degree in Engineering (with honors) from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1972, and a master of science degree in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida in 1975.

MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Kaye Aughtman of Andulusia, Alabama. Her parents, Mr. & Mrs. LeRoy Parker, reside in Springville, Alabama.

CHILDREN: Son, Jim, July 20, 1978. Daughter, Anna, April 26, 1980.

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys golf, fishing, hunting, running, tennis, woodworking.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member, USCG Academy Alumni Association, USCG Pterodactyl Society, North American Hunters Club, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Early and Pioneer Naval Aviators; Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.

SPECIAL HONORS: NCAA Academic All American, Football (1971); Navy Helicopter Association Search and Rescue Aircrew Award (1983); Secretary of Transportation Heroism Award (1983); 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses; Coast Guard Commendation Medal; Coast Guard Achievement Medal; National Defense Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; 4 USCG Unit Commendations; Sea Service Ribbon; Expert Rifle Medal; Expert Pistol Medal; NASA Space Flight Medal, Vladimir M. Komarov Diploma (1990).

EXPERIENCE: Upon graduation from the Coast Guard Academy, Melnick was assigned as a deck watch officer aboard the USCG Cutter STEADFAST, homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. After 16 months sea duty, he was sent to Navy flight training in Pensacola and participated in the CNTRA's Masters Program. After earning his wings in 1974, and his degree in 1975, he served two 3-1/2 year tours as a Coast Guard Rescue Pilot at CGAS Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and at Sitka, Alaska. He was then assigned to the Aircraft Program Office in Grand Prairie, Texas, where he conducted many of the developmental and acceptance tests on the Coast Guard's HH-65A "Dolphin" helicopter. In 1986 he was transferred to CGAS Traverse City, Michigan, where he served as the Operations Officer until his selection to the astronaut program.

He has logged over 4,900 hours flying time, predominantly in the H-3, H-52, H-65 and T-38 aircraft.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in June 1987, Melnick became an astronaut in August 1988, qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. His technical assignments to date include serving on the Astronaut Support Personnel (ASP) team at the Kennedy Space Center assigned to prepare Shuttle Orbiter cockpits and middecks prior to each flight. He represented the Astronaut Office in the assembly and checkout of the new Space Shuttle Orbiter (OV-105) at the contractor facilities in California, and was the head of the flight software verification team in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL). A veteran of two space flights, Melnick flew on STS-41 in 1990, and STS-49 in 1992. He has logged over 300 hours of space flight.

Melnick first flew on STS-41. The five man crew launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on October 6 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 10, 1990. During 66 orbits of the earth the STS-41 crew successfully deployed the ULYSSES spacecraft, starting this interplanetary probe on its four year journey, via Jupiter, to investigate the polar regions of the Sun; operated the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet instrument (SSBUV) to map atmospheric ozone levels; activated a controlled "fire in space" experiment (the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE); and conducted numerous other middeck experiments involving radiation measurements, polymer membrane production and microgravity effects on plants. Mission duration was 98 hours 10 minutes 04 seconds.

More recently, Melnick served on the crew of STS-49, May 7-16, 1992, aboard the maiden flight of the new Space Shuttle Endeavour. During 141 orbits of the Earth, the STS-49 crew rendezvoused with, captured, attached a new rocket motor to, and deployed the Intelsat VI communications satellite, and conducted the Assembly of Station by EVA methods (ASEM) evaluation. The mission included the most EVAs (4) during a Shuttle flight, the first ever 3 person EVA, and the two longest EVAs in Shuttle history. Melnick performed the duties of flight Engineer (MS-2) and was the principal Remote Manipulator System (RMS) operator throughout the mission.

Commander Melnick is retiring from the U.S. Coastguard and will leave NASA in July 1992. He has accepted the position of Director, Shuttle Processing Improvement Technology with Lockheed Space Operations Company (LOC) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

MAY 1992

Birth Place: New York, New York.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1949.12.05.
Spaceflights: 2 .
Total time in space: 12.98 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • NASA Group 12 - 1987 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: The Gaffers (acronym for 'George Abbey Final Fifteen' - the last group selected with George Abbey as Director of Flight Crew Operations). The class motto: 'What's the rush?' since there was expected to be along wait for flights after the Challenger disaste More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-41 Crew: Akers, Cabana, Melnick, Richards, Shepherd. Manned five crew. Deployed Ulysses spacecraft. More...
  • STS-49 Crew: Akers, Brandenstein, Chilton, Hieb, Melnick, Thornton, Thuot. First flight of shuttle Endeavour. First three-person spacewalk. First active dual rendezvous of two orbiting spacecraft (Endeavour and Intelsat-6). Retrieved Intelsat 6 and attached new SRM. First deployment of a drag chute on the orbiter fleet. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
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...

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

Melnick Chronology

1987 June 5 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 12 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Akers; Allen, Andy; Bowersox; Brown; Chilton; Davis; Foale; Harbaugh; Jemison; McMonagle; Melnick; Readdy; Reightler; Runco; Voss. 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.. First selection after the Challenger accident. 1962 applicants, 117 finalists. Reported to Johnson Space Center on August 17, 1987, to begin their one year training. Seven pilots and eight mission specialists. Two female mission specialists, including the first black woman astronaut. Ten military officers and five civilians (including three from NASA Johnson and one from NASA Marshall).

1990 October 6 - . 11:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-41.
  • STS-41 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Akers; Cabana; Melnick; Richards; Shepherd. Payload: Discovery F11 / Ulysses [IUS + PAM-S]. Mass: 22,140 kg (48,810 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Akers; Cabana; Melnick; Richards; Shepherd. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-41. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 4.09 days. Decay Date: 1990-10-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 20841 . COSPAR: 1990-090A. Apogee: 307 km (190 mi). Perigee: 300 km (180 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned five crew. Deployed Ulysses spacecraft. Payloads: Deploy Ulysses, Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet, Intelsat Solar Array Coupon, Solid-Surface Combustion Experiment, Investigations Into Polymer Membrane Processing, Chromo-some and Plant Cell Division in Space, Physiological Systems Experiment, Voice Command System, Radiation Monitoring Equipment III, Air Force Maui Optical Site.

1990 October 10 - .
1992 May 7 - . 23:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-49.
  • STS-49 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Akers; Brandenstein; Chilton; Hieb; Melnick; Thornton; Thuot. Payload: Endeavour F01 / Intelsat 6 SRM. Mass: 14,786 kg (32,597 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Akers; Brandenstein; Chilton; Hieb; Melnick; Thornton; Thuot. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-49. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 8.89 days. Decay Date: 1992-05-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 21963 . COSPAR: 1992-026A. Apogee: 341 km (211 mi). Perigee: 268 km (166 mi). Inclination: 28.3000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Retrieved Intelsat 6 and attached new SRM. First active dual rendezvous of two orbiting spacecraft (Endeavour and Intelsat-Vl). First deployment of a drag chute on the orbiter fleet. Payloads: Intelsat-Vl reboost mission hardware, Assembly of Station by EVA Methods (ASEM), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPl).

1992 May 16 - .
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