Encyclopedia Astronautica
Precourt



ipreourt.jpg
Precourt
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Precourt, Charles Joseph 'Charlie' (1955-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-55, STS-71, STS-84, STS-91.

Grew up in Hudson, Massachusetts. Educated USAFA; Edwards. USAF test pilot.


NASA Official Biography

NAME: Charles J. Precourt (Colonel, USAF)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Born June 29, 1955, in Waltham, Massachusetts, but considers Hudson, Massachusetts, to be his hometown. Married to the former Lynne Denise Mungle of St. Charles, Missouri. They have three daughters. He enjoys golf and flying light aircraft. He flies a Varieze, an experimental aircraft that he built. His parents, Charles and Helen Precourt, reside in Hudson. Her parents, Loyd and Jerry Mungle, reside in Streetman, Texas.

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Hudson High School, Hudson, Massachusetts, in 1973; received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy in 1977, a master of science degree in engineering management from Golden Gate University in 1988, and a master of arts degree in national security affairs and strategic studies from the United States Naval War College in 1990. While at the United States Air Force Academy, Precourt also attended the French Air Force Academy in 1976 as part of an exchange program.

ORGANIZATIONS:
Member of the Association of Space Explorers, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP), the Soaring Society of America, and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

SPECIAL HONORS:
Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal (2), and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (2). Precourt is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and the United States Naval War College. In 1978 he was the Air Training Command Trophy Winner as the outstanding graduate of his pilot training class. In 1989 he was recipient of the David B. Barnes Award as the Outstanding Instructor Pilot at the United States Air ForceTest Pilot School.

EXPERIENCE:
Precourt graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, in 1978. Initially he flew as an instructor pilot in the T-37, and later as a maintenance test pilot in the T-37 and T-38 aircraft. From 1982 through 1984, he flew an operational tour in the F-15 Eagle at Bitburg Air Base in Germany. In 1985 he attended the United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Upon graduation, Precourt was assigned as a test pilot at Edwards, where he flew the F-15E, F-4, A-7, and A-37 aircraft until mid 1989, when he began studies at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon graduation from the War College, Precourt joined the astronaut program. His flight experience includes over 5,500 hours in over 50 types of civil and military aircraft. He holds commercial pilot, multi-engine instrument, glider and certified flight instructor ratings.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Precourt became an astronaut in July 1991. His technical assignments to date have included: Manager of ascent, entry, and launch abort issues for the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch; spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM), providing the voice link from the Mission Control Center during launch and entry for several Space Shuttle missions; Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, from October 1995 to April 1996, with responsibility for the coordination and implementation of mission operations activities in the Moscow region for the joint U.S./Russian Shuttle/Mir program. A veteran of three space flights, STS-55 (April 26-May 6, 1993), STS-71 (June 27 to July 7, 1995), and STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997), Precourt has logged over 696 hours in space.

Precourt flew his first space mission as a mission specialist aboard Columbia on STS-55, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 26, 1993. Nearly 90 experiments were conducted during this German-sponsored Spacelab D-2 mission to investigate life sciences, materials sciences, physics, robotics, astronomy and the Earth and its atmosphere. STS-55 also flew the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) making contact with students in 14 schools around the world. After 160 orbits of the earth in 240 flight hours, the 10-day mission concluded with a landing on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on May 6, 1993.

On his second flight (June 27 to July 7, 1995), Precourt was the pilot on the seven-member crew (up) and eight-member crew (down) of Space Shuttle mission STS-71. This was the first Space Shuttle mission to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir, and involved an exchange of crews. The Atlantis Space Shuttle was modified to carry a docking system compatible with the Russian Mir Space Station. It also carried a Spacehab module in the payload bay in which the crew performed various life sciences experiments and data collections. Mission duration was 235 hours, 23 minutes.

Most recently, he served as crew commander of a seven-member international crew on STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997). This was NASA's sixth Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. In completing this 9-day mission, Precourt traveled 3.6 million miles in 144 orbits of the Earth logging a total of 221 hours and 20 minutes in space.

MAY 1997

Birth Place: Waltham, Massachusetts.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1955.06.29.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 38.84 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 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-55 Crew: Harris, Henricks, Nagel, Precourt, Ross, Schlegel, Walter. Manned seven crew. Carried German Spacelab-D2. More...
  • STS-71 Crew: Baker, Dunbar, Gibson, Harbaugh, Precourt. First docking of a US spacecraft with the Mir space station. More...
  • Mir EO-19 Crew: Budarin, Solovyov. First Russian crew delivered to Mir space station aboard the space shuttle. Backup crew: Onufrienko, Usachyov. More...
  • Mir NASA-4 Crew: Foale. Foale relieved Linenger as NASA resident on the Mir station. Backup crew: Voss. More...
  • STS-84 Crew: Clervoy, Collins Eileen, Kondakova, Lu, Noriega, Precourt. Delivered to Mir and returned to earth 2500 kg of payload. More...
  • STS-91 Crew: Chang-Diaz, Gorie, Kavandi, Lawrence, Precourt, Ryumin. First shuttle flight with super light-weight external tank. Final shuttle-Mir mission. Recovered NASA astronaut Andy Thomas from Mir and took Russian space chief Valeri Ryumin to Mir for an inspection tour. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, 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.

Precourt 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.


1993 April 26 - . 14:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-55.
  • STS-55 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Harris; Henricks; Nagel; Precourt; Ross; Schlegel; Walter. Payload: Columbia F14/USS/Spacelab D-2 LM. Mass: 12,185 kg (26,863 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Harris; Henricks; Nagel; Precourt; Ross; Schlegel; Walter. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-55. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 9.99 days. Decay Date: 1993-05-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 22640 . COSPAR: 1993-027A. Apogee: 312 km (193 mi). Perigee: 304 km (188 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.70 min. Summary: Manned seven crew. Carried German Spacelab-D2. Payloads: Spacelab D-2 with long module, unique support structure (USS), and Reaction Kinetics in Glass Melts (RKGM) getaway special, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II..

1993 May 5 - .
1995 June 27 - . 19:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-71.
  • STS-71 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Baker; Budarin; Dunbar; Gibson; Harbaugh; Precourt; Solovyov. Backup Crew: Onufrienko; Usachyov. Payload: Atlantis F14 / Spacelab-Mir LM. Mass: 12,191 kg (26,876 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker; Budarin; Dunbar; Gibson; Harbaugh; Precourt; Solovyov; Onufrienko; Usachyov. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-71; Mir EO-19; Mir EO-18. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 9.81 days. Decay Date: 1995-07-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 23600 . COSPAR: 1995-030A. Apogee: 342 km (212 mi). Perigee: 342 km (212 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Mir Expedition EO-19. Transferred Budarin, Solovyov to Mir, returned Soyuz TM-21 crew to Earth. After undocking from Mir on July 4, Atlantis spent several days on orbit, carrying out medical research work with the Spacelab-Mir module in the cargo bay. Payloads: Shuttle/Mir Mission 1, Spacelab-Mir, IMAX camera, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX).

1995 July 7 - .
1997 May 15 - . 08:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-84.
  • STS-84 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Precourt; Collins, Eileen; Clervoy; Lu; Noriega; Kondakova; Foale. Backup Crew: Titov, Vladimir. Payload: Atlantis F19 / Spacehab Double Module. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Precourt; Collins, Eileen; Clervoy; Lu; Noriega; Kondakova; Foale; Titov, Vladimir. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-84; Mir NASA-4; Mir NASA-3; Mir EO-23. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 9.22 days. Decay Date: 1997-05-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 24804 . COSPAR: 1997-023A. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 377 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Atlantis blasted off on a night launch to Mir, docking with the station on May 17 at 02:33 GMT. Jerry Linenger, who had begun his stay on Mir in mid-January aboard STS-81, would return aboard STS-84. Michael Foale would be left at the station for his stint as the American crew member of Mir. The crew transfered to Mir 466 kg of water, 383 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,251 kg of Russian equipment and supplies, and 178 kg of miscellaneous material. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 406 kg of U.S. science material, 531 kg of Russian logistics material, 14 kg of ESA material and 171 kg of miscellaneous material. Atlantis undocked from Mir at 01:04 GMT on May 22. After passing up its first landing opportunity due to clouds over the landing site, the Shuttle fired its OMS engines on the deorbit burn at 12:33 GMT on May 24. Atlantis landed at 13:27 GMT at Kennedy Space Center's runway 33.

1997 May 24 - .
1998 June 2 - . 22:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-91.
  • STS-91 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Precourt; Gorie; Lawrence; Chang-Diaz; Kavandi; Ryumin. Payload: Discovery F24 / Spacehab. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Precourt; Gorie; Lawrence; Chang-Diaz; Kavandi; Ryumin. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-91; Mir NASA-6; Mir EO-25. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 9.83 days. Decay Date: 1998-06-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 25356 . COSPAR: 1998-034A. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 350 km (210 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.80 min. The final shuttle-Mir mission, STS-91 recovered NASA astronaut Andy Thomas from the Mir station and took Russian space chief and ex-cosmonaut Valeri Ryumin to Mir for an inspection tour of the ageing station. This was the first test of the super lightweight Aluminium-Lithium alloy external tank, designed to increase shuttle payload to the Mir / International Space Station orbit by 4,000 kg. At 22:15 GMT Discovery entered an initial 74 x 324 km x 51.6 deg orbit, with the OMS-2 burn three quarters of an hour later circulising the chase orbit. Discovery docked with the SO module on Mir at 17:00 GMT on June 4. NASA equipment was retrieved from the station, and Discovery undocked at 16:01 GMT on June 8, and landed on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 18:00 GMT on June 12.

1998 June 12 - .
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