Encyclopedia Astronautica
Thornton



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Thornton
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
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STS-33
STS-33 MS Carter and MS Thornton display "Maggot on Board" sign and candy
Credit: NASA
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STS-33
STS-33 MS Thornton on Discovery's, OV-103's, aft flight deck
Credit: NASA
Thornton, Dr Kathryn Ryan Cordell 'Kathy' (1952-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-33, STS-49, STS-61, STS-73.

Educated Auburn; Virginia. Total EVA Time: 0.88 days. Number of EVAs: 3.


NASA Official Biography

NAME: Kathryn C. Thornton (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Born August 17, 1952, in Montgomery, Alabama. Married to Stephen T. Thornton, Ph.D., of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She has two stepsons and three daughters. She enjoys scuba diving and skiing. Her parents, Mr. William C. Cordell and Mrs. Elsie Cordell, are deceased. His mother, Mrs. Helen Lee Gardner, and his father, Mr. Barton Brown Thornton, are deceased.

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Sidney Lanier High School, Montgomery, Alabama, in 1970; received a bachelor of science degree in physics from Auburn University in 1974, a master of science degree in physics from the University of Virginia in 1977, and a doctorate of philosophy in physics from the University of Virginia in 1979.

ORGANIZATIONS:
Member of the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Pi Sigma.

EXPERIENCE:
After Dr. Thornton earned her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia in 1979, she was awarded a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue her research at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, West Germany. In 1980, she returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, where she was employed as a physicist at the U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
Selected by NASA in May 1984, Dr. Thornton became an astronaut in July 1985. Her technical assignments have included flight software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL), serving as a team member of the Vehicle Integration Test Team (VITT) at KSC, and as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM). A veteran of three space flights, Dr. Thornton flew on STS-33 in 1989, STS-49 in 1992, and STS-61 in 1993. She has logged over 975 hours in space, including more than 21 hours of extravehicular activity (EVA).

Dr. Thornton was a mission specialist on the crew of STS-33 which launched at night from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 22, 1989, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission carried Department of Defense payloads and other secondary payloads. After 79 orbits of the Earth, this five-day mission concluded on November 27, 1989, at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

On her second flight, Dr. Thornton served on the crew of STS-49, May 7-16, 1992, on board the maiden flight of the new Space Shuttle Endeavour. During the mission the crew conducted the initial test flight of Endeavour, performed a record four EVA's (space walks) to retrieve, repair and deploy the International Telecommunications Satellite (INTELSAT), and to demonstrate and evaluate numerous EVA tasks to be used for the assembly of Space Station Freedom. Dr. Thornton was one of two EVA crew members who evaluated Space Station assembly techniques on the fourth EVA. STS-49 logged 213 hours in space and 141 Earth orbits prior to landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

On her third flight, Dr. Thornton was a mission specialist EVA crew member aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-61 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing and repair mission. STS-61 launched at night from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 2, 1993. During the 11-day flight, the HST was captured and restored to full capacity through a record five space walks by four astronauts. After having travelled 4,433,772 miles in 163 orbits of the Earth, the crew of Endeavour returned to a night landing at the Kennedy Space Center on December 13, 1993.

From October 20 to November 5, 1995, Dr. Thornton served aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on STS-73, as the payload commander of the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission. The mission focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, the physics of fluids, and numerous scientific experiments housed in the pressurized Spacelab module. In completing her fourth space flight, Dr. Thornton orbited the Earth 256 times, traveled over 6 million miles, and logged a total of 15 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds in space.

Dr. Thornton has announced she will leave NASA on August 1, 1996, to join the faculty of the University of Virginia.

JUNE 1996

Birth Place: Montgomery, Alabama.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1952.08.17.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 40.63 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • NASA Group 10 - 1984 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: The Maggots. Named by Bill Shepherd, who dubbed them in their earliest group training in aircraft survival school, a term familiar to graduates of USMC boot camp. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-33 Crew: Blaha, Carter, Gregory, Musgrave, Thornton. Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. 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...
  • STS-61 Crew: Akers, Bowersox, Covey, Hoffman, Musgrave, Nicollier, Thornton. Manned seven crew. Hubble repair mission. Conducted the most EVAs on a Space Shuttle Flight to that date. More...
  • STS-73 Crew: Bowersox, Coleman, Leslie, Lopez-Alegria, Rominger, Sacco, Thornton. Carried USML-2 for microgravity experiments (attached to Columbia). 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.

Thornton Chronology


1984 May 23 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 10 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Adamson; Baker; Brown, Mark; Cameron; Carter; Casper; Culbertson; Gutierrez; Hammond; Ivins; Lee; Low; McCulley; Shepherd; Thornton; Veach; Wetherbee. 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..


1989 November 23 - . 00:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-33R.
  • STS-33 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Blaha; Carter; Gregory; Musgrave; Thornton. Payload: Discovery F09 / Magnum 2 [IUS]. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blaha; Carter; Gregory; Musgrave; Thornton. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-33. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1989-11-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 20329 . COSPAR: 1989-090A. Apogee: 214 km (132 mi). Perigee: 207 km (128 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Orbits of Earth: 78. Distance traveled: 3,218,687 km. Landed at: Concrete runway 04 at Edwards Air Force Base, Cali. Landing Speed: 368 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 570.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,366.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission - third space shuttle night launch.

1989 November 28 - .
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 15 - .
  • EVA STS-49-4 - . Crew: Thornton; Akers. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.32 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thornton; Akers. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-49. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Summary: Tested tools and techniques for assembly of the International Space Station..

1992 May 16 - .
1993 December 2 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-61.
  • STS-61 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Akers; Bowersox; Covey; Hoffman; Musgrave; Nicollier; Thornton. Payload: Endeavour F05 / FSS. Mass: 8,011 kg (17,661 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Akers; Bowersox; Covey; Hoffman; Musgrave; Nicollier; Thornton. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 10.83 days. Decay Date: 1993-12-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 22917 . COSPAR: 1993-075A. Apogee: 576 km (357 mi). Perigee: 291 km (180 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 93.30 min. Manned seven crew. Hubble repair mission. Conducted the most EVAs (5) on a Space Shuttle Flight to that date. Payloads: Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing Mission (SM) 1, IMAX Camera, IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS).

1993 December 6 - . 03:29 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-61-2 - . Crew: Thornton; Akers. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.28 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thornton; Akers. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 1 - solar array replacement..

1993 December 8 - . 03:13 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-61-4 - . Crew: Thornton; Akers. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.28 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thornton; Akers. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour; HST. Summary: Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 1 - COSTAR installation..

1993 December 13 - .
1995 October 20 - . 13:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-73.
  • STS-73 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Bowersox; Coleman; Leslie; Lopez-Alegria; Rominger; Sacco; Thornton. Payload: Columbia F18 / Spacelab LM / EDO. Mass: 15,250 kg (33,620 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bowersox; Coleman; Leslie; Lopez-Alegria; Rominger; Sacco; Thornton. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-73. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 15.91 days. Decay Date: 1995-11-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 23688 . COSPAR: 1995-056A. Apogee: 241 km (149 mi). Perigee: 241 km (149 mi). Inclination: 39.0000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. Summary: Carried USML-2 for microgravity experiments (attached to Columbia). Payloads: United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML) 2, Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE)..

1995 November 5 - .
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