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18 December - "Andy" Thomas, looks on Australia differently

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18 December - "Andy" Thomas, looks on Australia differently

Unread postby Max ADU » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:20 pm

Australian Birthday Today - Andrew "Andy" Sydney Withiel Thomas born 18 December 1951 in Adelaide,South Australia, is an Australian-born American aerospace engineer and a NASA astronaut.


    As a child, Thomas was fascinated by space. His father has described how he started building model rockets from cardboard and plastic and as an early teen, was captivated by the ‘space race’.

    In December 1986, Thomas became a U.S. citizen, hoping to gain entry to NASA's astronaut program and married to fellow NASA astronaut Shannon Walker.

    After completing his studies, Thomas accepted an offer from Lockheed in Atlanta. By 1990 he was the organization's principal aerodynamic scientist. Making his professional career as a research scientist with the Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company, Marietta, Georgia, in 1977

    Thomas was selected by NASA in March 1992 and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992.

    His first flight in space on Endeavour in May 1996. STS-77 was a 10-day mission during which the crew deployed two satellites, tested a large inflatable space structure on orbit and conducted a variety of scientific experiments in a Spacehab laboratory module carried in Endeavours payload bay.

    The flight was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on May 19, 1996 and completed 160 orbits 153 nautical miles above the Earth while traveling 4.1 million miles and logging 240 hours and 39 minutes in space.

    Houston, we have a South Australian - Andy Thomas, recounting his launch to Space Shuttle MIR, 1998.
    "Suddenly, there was a thundering roar with massive vibration... as the solid rockets ignited, the hold-down bolts exploded, and we were driven off the launch pad and upwards into the sky. You did not need a window to know what was happening."

Thomas completed four space flight and has logged over 177 days in space.
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