Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Sega, Dr Ronald Michael 'Ron' (1952-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-60, STS-76. Was married to astronaut Bonnie Dunbar.

Educated USAFA.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Ronald M. Sega (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut

Born December 4, 1952, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Graduated from Nordonia High School, Macedonia, Ohio, in 1970; received a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics and Physics from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1974, a master of science degree in Physics from Ohio State in 1975, and a doctorate in Electrical Engineering from University of Colorado in 1982.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) - Associate Fellow (1992), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Physical Society (APS), Institute for the Advancement of Engineering - Fellow (1992), Society for Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), Air Force Reserve Officer Association, Association of Space Explorers, and Eta Kappa Nu.

Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, 1974. Top Graduate of the Pilot Instructor Training Course, 1976. Officer of the Year in the Department of Physics, U.S. Air Force Academy, 1980. Recipient of Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Commendation Medal, and Reserve Achievement Medal. Air Force Research Fellow - Air Force Office of Scientific Research, 1985. Received the Outstanding Faculty Award - Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado, 1985. Selected to the Academic Hall of Fame of his high school in Macedonia, Ohio, 1988. Reserve Officer of the Year (IMA), Air Force Space Command, 1988; Reserve Officer of the Year (IMA), U.S. Air Force, 1988. Received an honorary doctorate from Clarkson University, 1993. Recipient of the NASA Space Flight Medal, 1994 and 1996. Superior Achievement Award (NASA Director of Operations, Russia), 1995.

Dr. Sega graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1974, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He earned a masters degree in Physics at Ohio State University in 1975. Completing pilot training in 1976 he served as an Instructor Pilot at Williams AFB, Arizona, until 1979. From 1979 to 1982 he was on the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy in the Department of Physics where he designed and constructed a laboratory facility to investigate microwave fields using infrared techniques while pursuing a doctorate in Electrical Engineering. In 1982 he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1985, granted tenure in 1988, promoted to Professor in 1990, and is currently on an extended leave of absence. From 1987 to 1988 he served as Technical Director, Lasers and Aerospace Mechanics Directorate, of the Frank J. Seiler Research Laboratory at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From 1989 to 1990, while on leave from the University of Colorado, he served as Research Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Houston, affiliated with the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, and currently is Adjunct Professor of Physics. Dr. Sega is a Co-Principal Investigator of the Wake Shield Facility (WSF)which has flown on Space Shuttle mission STS-60 in February 1994 and STS-69 in 1995, also serving as mission director for WSF. He has authored or co-authored over 100 technical publications.

An Air Force Reserve Officer, he holds an aeronautical rating of Command Pilot and the rank of Colonel. He serves as a reserve augmentee to the Director, Plans, Air Force Space Command.

As a pilot, Dr. Sega has logged over 4,000 hours in the Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and NASA.

Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Sega became an astronaut in July 1991, qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on Space Shuttle flight crews. His technical assignments have included: working Remote Manipulator System (RMS) issues for the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch; supporting Orbiter software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); Chief of Astronaut Appearances; Science Support Group Lead; Space Station integration team; Astronaut Representative to the Space Station Science and Utilization Advisory Board (primarily an external board for NASA).

Dr. Sega was a mission specialist on STS-60, the first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle Mission. Launched on February 3, 1994, STS-60 was the second flight of the Space Habitation Module-2 (Spacehab-2), and the first flight of the Wake Shield Facility (WSF-1). During the 8-day flight, the crew of Discovery conducted a wide variety of biological materials science, earth observation, and life science experiments. He was the "flight engineer" for ascent and entry on this mission, performed several experiments on orbit, and operated the robotic arm, berthing the Wake Shield onto its payload bay carrier on four separate occasions. Following 130 orbits of the Earth in 3,439,705 miles, STS-60 landed at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on February 11, 1994. With the completion of his first space flight, Dr. Sega has logged 199 hours in space.

From November 1994 to March 1995, Dr. Sega was the NASA Director of Operations, Star City, Russia (The Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) responsible for managing NASA activities at Star City. These activities involved building an organization and infrastructure to support Astronaut and Cosmonaut mission and science training for flight on the Russian Space Station Mir. He also participated in training on Russian Space Systems and was the first American to train in the Russian EVA suit (Orlan) in their underwater facility (Hydrolaboratory).

Dr. Sega was a mission specialist on STS-76, the third docking mission to the Russian space station Mir, launched on March 22, 1996 with a crew of six aboard Atlantis. Following rendezvous and docking with Mir, a NASA Astronaut transferred to Mir for a five month stay to begin a continuous presence of U.S. astronauts aboard Mir for the next two year period. Dr. Sega was the Payload Commander for this mission and lead on Biorack, a small multipurpose laboratory located in the Spacehab module carried in the Shuttle payload bay. Biorack was used to technology development, fundamental biology (research into plant and animal cellular function), and environment characterization. He was responsible for planning and on-orbit operations, including extensive transfer of logistics and science, including 4800 pounds of science and mission hardware, food, water and air to Mir, and returning over 1100 pounds of U.S. and ESA science and Russian hardware. Following 144 orbits of the Earth, Atlantis landed with a crew of five at Edwards Air Force Base in California on March 31, 1996.

Dr. Sega left NASA on July 1, 1996 to become Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.


Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1952.12.04.
Spaceflights: 2 .
Total time in space: 17.52 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • 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-60 Crew: Bolden, Chang-Diaz, Davis, Krikalyov, Reightler, Sega. First flight of a Russian cosmonaut aboard an American spacecraft. Deployed ODERACS A-F, Bremsat, carried Wake Shield Facility. Backup crew: Titov Vladimir. More...
  • Mir NASA-1 Crew: Lucid. First American aboard Mir for extended stay. Backup crew: Blaha. More...
  • STS-76 Crew: Chilton, Clifford, Godwin, Searfoss, Sega. Shuttle-Mir Mission 3. First American EVA on Mir space station. 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...

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

Sega 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.

1994 February 3 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-60.
  • STS-60 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Bolden; Chang-Diaz; Davis; Krikalyov; Reightler; Sega. Backup Crew: Titov, Vladimir. Payload: Discovery F18 / GBA-6. Mass: 13,006 kg (28,673 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bolden; Chang-Diaz; Davis; Krikalyov; Reightler; Sega; Titov, Vladimir. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-60. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 8.30 days. Decay Date: 1994-02-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 22977 . COSPAR: 1994-006A. Apogee: 351 km (218 mi). Perigee: 348 km (216 mi). Inclination: 56.4000 deg. Period: 91.50 min. Deployed ODERACS A-F, Bremsat, carried Wake Shield Facility. Payloads: Wake Shield Facility (WSF) 1 and SPACEHAB 02. Getaway special bridge assembly experiments: Capillary Pumped Loop (CAPL), Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS), University of Bremen Satellite (BREMSAT), G-514, G-071, and G-536. Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II; Auroral Photography Experiment (APE-B).

1994 February 11 - .
1996 March 22 - . 08:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-76.
  • STS-76 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Chilton; Clifford; Godwin; Lucid; Searfoss; Sega. Payload: Atlantis F16 / Spacehab-SM. Mass: 6,753 kg (14,887 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chilton; Clifford; Godwin; Lucid; Searfoss; Sega. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-76; Mir NASA-1; Mir EO-21. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 9.22 days. Decay Date: 1996-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 23831 . COSPAR: 1996-018A. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 394 km (244 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Shuttle-Mir Mission 3. Docked with the Mir space station 24 March 1996; Shannon Lucid was left on Mir for an extended stay. First American EVA on Mir. Payloads: SPACEHAB/Mir 03; KidSat; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II, Configuration M; RME 1304óMir/ Environmental Effects Payload (MEEP); orbiter docking system RME 1315; Trapped Ions in Space Experiment (TRIS); Extravehicular Activity Development Flight Test (EDFT) 04.

1996 March 31 - .
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