[Jerry Ross] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Jerry L. Ross (Colonel, USAF)
NASA Astronaut

Born January 20, 1948, in Crown Point, Indiana. Married to the former Karen S. Pearson of Sheridan, Indiana. They have two children. He enjoys softball, racquetball, woodworking, photography, model rocketry, and flying. His mother, Mrs. Phyllis E. Ross, resides in Crown Point. His father, Donald J. Ross, is deceased. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Morris D. Pearson, reside in Sheridan, Indiana.

Graduated from Crown Point High School, Crown Point, Indiana, in 1966; received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1970 and 1972, respectively.

Member of the Association of Space Explorers, the Air Force Association, Pi Tau Sigma; and a lifetime member of the Purdue Alumni Association.

Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; named a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School and recipient of the Outstanding Flight Test Engineer Award, Class 75B. Recipient of 6 NASA Space Flight Medals. Awarded the American Astronautical Society, Victor A. Prather Award (1985 and 1990), and Flight Achievement Award (1992 and 1996).

Ross, an Air Force ROTC student at Purdue University, received his commission upon graduation in 1970. After receiving his master's degree from Purdue in 1972, he entered active duty with the Air Force and was assigned to the Ramjet Engine Division of Air Force Aero-Propulsion Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He conducted computer-aided design studies on ramjet propulsion systems, served as the project engineer for captive tests of a supersonic ramjet missile using a rocket sled track, and as the project manager for preliminary configuration development of the ASALM strategic air-launched missile. From June 1974 to July 1975, he was the Laboratory Executive Officer and Chief of the Management Operations Office. Ross graduated from the USAF Test Pilot School's Flight Test Engineer Course in 1976 and was subsequently assigned to the 6510th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base, California. While on assignment to the 6510th's Flight Test Engineering Directorate, he was project engineer on a limited flying qualities evaluation of the RC-135S aircraft and, as lead B-1 flying qualities flight test engineer, was responsible for the stability and control and flight control system testing performed on the B-1 aircraft. He was also responsible, as chief B-1 flight test engineer, for training and supervising all Air Force B-1 flight test engineer crew members and for performing the mission planning for the B-1 offensive avionics test aircraft.

Ross has flown in 21 different types of aircraft, holds a private pilot's license, and has logged over 3,100 flying hours, the majority in military aircraft.

In February 1979, Ross was assigned to the Payload Operations Division at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center as a payload officer/flight controller. In this capacity, he was responsible for the flight operations integration of payloads into the Space Shuttle.

Ross was selected as an astronaut in May 1980. His technical assignments since then have included: EVA, RMS, and chase team; support crewman for STS 41-B, 41-C and 51-A; spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) during STS 41-B, 41-C, 41-D, 51-A and 51-D; Chief of the Mission Support Branch; member of the 1990 Astronaut Selection Board; Acting Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office, and Chief of the Astronaut Office EVA and Robotics Branch. Ross flew as a mission specialist on STS 61-B (1985), STS-27 (1988) and STS-37 (1991), was the Payload Commander on STS-55/Spacelab-D2 (1993), and again served as a mission specialist on the second Space Shuttle to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir, STS-74 (1995) and the first International Space Station assembly mission, STS-88 (1998). A veteran of six space flights, Ross has over 1,133 hours in space, including 44 hours 9 minutes on seven spacewalks. He is currently the Astronaut Office Branch Chief for EVA (spacewalks).

STS 61-B was launched at night from Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, on November 26, 1985. During the mission the crew deployed the MORELOS-B, AUSSAT II, and SATCOM Ku-2 communications satellites, and operated numerous other experiments. Ross conducted two 6-hour space walks to demonstrate Space Station construction techniques with the EASE/ACCESS experiments. After completing 108 orbits of the Earth in 165 hours, 4 minutes, 49 seconds STS 61-B Atlantis landed on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 3, 1985. STS-27 Atlantis, launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 2, 1988. The mission carried a Department of Defense payload, as well as a number of secondary payloads. After 68 orbits of the earth in 105 hours, 6 minutes, 19 seconds, the mission concluded with a dry lakebed landing on Runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 6, 1988.

STS-37 Atlantis, launched from KSC on April 5, 1991, and deployed the 35,000 pound Gamma Ray Observatory. Ross performed two space walks totaling 10 hours and 49 minutes to manually deploy the stuck Gamma Ray Observatory antenna and to test prototype Space Station Freedom hardware. After 93 orbits of the Earth in 143 hours, 32 minutes, 44 seconds, the mission concluded with a landing on Runway 33, at Edwards Air Force Base, on April 11, 1991.

From April 26, 1993 through May 6, 1993, Ross served as Payload Commander/Mission Specialist on STS-55 aboard the Orbiter Columbia. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, Runway 22, after 160 orbits of the Earth in 239 hours and 45 minutes. Nearly 90 experiments were conducted during the German-sponsored Spacelab D-2 mission to investigate life sciences, material sciences, physics, robotics, astronomy, and the Earth and its atmosphere.

STS-74 Atlantis, was NASA's second Space Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. STS-74 launched on November 12, 1995, and landed at Kennedy Space Center on November 20, 1995. During the 8 day flight the crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis attached a permanent docking module to Mir, conducted a number of secondary experiments, and transferred 1-1/2 tons of supplies and experiment equipment between Atlantis and the Mir station. The STS-74 mission was accomplished in 129 orbits of the Earth, traveling 3.4 million miles in 196 hours, 30 minutes, 44 seconds.

STS-88 Endeavour (December 4-15, 1998) was the first International Space Station assembly mission. During the 12-day mission the U.S.-built Unity module was mated with the Russian Zarya module. Ross performed three spacewalks totaling 21 hours 22 minutes to connect umbilicals and attach tools/hardware. The crew also deployed two satellites, Mighty Sat 1 and SAC-A. The mission was accomplished in 185 orbits of the Earth in 283 hours and 18 minutes.


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