[Robert Curbeam] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Robert L. Curbeam, Jr., (Lieutenant Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut

Born March 5, 1962, in Baltimore, Maryland. Married to the former Julie Dawn Lein; two children. He enjoys weightlifting, biking, and family activities.

Graduated from Woodlawn High School, Baltimore County, Maryland, 1980. Bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Naval Academy, 1984. Master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, 1990. Degree of aeronautical & astronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, 1991.

Member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and the Association of Old Crows.

Fighter Wing One Radar Intercept Officer of the Year for 1989, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Best Developmental Thesis (DT-II) Award, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Navy Battle Efficiency Award, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, Curbeam commenced Naval Flight Officer training in 1984. In 1986 he reported to Fighter Squadron 11 (VF-11) and made overseas deployments to the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas, and the Arctic and Indian Oceans on board the USS Forrestal (CV-59). During his tour in VF-11, he also attended Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). Upon completion of Test Pilot School in December 1991, he reported to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate where he was the project officer for the F-14A/B Air-to-Ground Weapons Separation Program. In August 1994, he returned to the U.S. Naval Academy as an instructor in the Weapons and Systems Engineering Department.

Selected by NASA in December 1994, Curbeam reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. He completed a year of training and evaluation and was assigned to the Computer Support Branch of the Astronaut Office. In 1997 he flew as a mission specialist on STS-85. In completing his first flight Curbeam logged 284 hours and 27 minutes in space. He presently serves as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) responsible for relaying all voice communication between Mission Control and crews aboard the Space Shuttle. Curbeam is assigned to STS-100 and is currently in training preparing for the spacewalks required for on-orbit construction of the International Space Station. STS-100 is targeted for launch in December 1999.

STS-85 (August 7-19, 1997) was a 12-day mission during which the crew deployed and retrieved the CRISTA-SPAS payload, operated the Japanese Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) robotic arm, studied changes in the Earth's atmosphere and tested technology destined for use on the future International Space Station. The mission was accomplished in 189 Earth orbits, traveling 4.7 million miles in 284 hours and 27 minutes.


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