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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Robert L. Stewart (Colonel, USA)
NASA Astronaut

Born August 13, 1942, in Washington, D.C., but considers El Lago, Texas, to be his hometown. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lee O. Stewart, reside in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Brown hair; brown eyes; height: 5 feet 6 inches; weight: 145 pounds.

Graduated from Hattiesburg High School, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1960; received a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1964, and a master of science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas in 1972.

Married to the former Mary Jane Murphy of La Grange, Georgia.

Ragon Annette, February 25, 1965; Jennifer Lee, July 21,1968.

Enjoys woodworking and photography.

Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and the National Geographic Society; past member of Phi Eta Sigma, and the Scabbard and Blade (military honor society).

Awarded four Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star, a Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medals (33), the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and "V" Device, two Purple Hearts, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the U.S. and Vietnamese Vietnam Service Medals, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry; also presented the Army Aviation Safety Certification of Recognition (1978). Recipient of NASA Space Flight Medal (1984 and 1985).

Stewart entered on active duty with the United States Army in May 1964 and was assigned as an air defense artillery director at the 32nd NORAD Region Headquarters (SAGE), Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama. In July 1966, after completing rotary wing training at Ft. Wolters, Texas, and Ft. Rucker, Alabama, he was designated an Army aviator. He flew 1,035 hours combat time from August 1966 to 1967, primarily as a fire team leader in the armed helicopter platoon of "A" Company, 101st Aviation Battalion (redesignated 336th Assault Helicopter Company). He was an instructor pilot at the U.S. Army Primary Helicopter School, serving one year in the presolo/primary-l phase of instruction and about six months as commander of methods of instruction flight III, training rated aviators to become instructor pilots. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Air Defense School's Air Defense Officers Advanced Course and Guided Missile Systems Officers Course. Stewart served in Seoul, Korea, from 1972 to 1973, with the 309th Aviation Battalion (Combat) as a battalion operations officer and battalion executive officer. He next attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, completing the Rotary Wing Test Pilot Course in 1974, and was then assigned as an experimental test pilot to the U.S. Army Aviation Engineering Flight Activity at Edwards Air Force Base, California. His duties there included being chief of the integrated systems test division as well as participating in engineering flight tests of UH-l and AH-1 helicopters and U-21 and OV-1 fixed wing aircraft; serving as project officer and senior test pilot on the Hughes YAI 1-64 advanced attack helicopter during government competitive testing; and participating with Sikorsky Aircraft test pilots in developing an electronic automatic flight control system for the new Army transport helicopter, the UH-60A Black Hawk.

He has military and civilian experience in 38 types of airplanes and helicopters and has logged approximately 6,000 hours total flight time.

Stewart became a NASA Astronaut in August 1979. His technical duties in the astronaut office have included testing and evaluation of the entry flight control system for STS-l (the first Space Shuttle orbital mission), ascent abort procedures development, and payload coordination. He also served as support crewman for STS-4, and Ascent/Orbit CAPCOM for STS-5.

Stewart was a mission specialist on Space Shuttle Mission 41-B, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on February 3, 1984, landing eight days later on February 11,1984. During this flight, he and Captain Bruce McCandless, participated in two extravehicular activities (EVAs) to conduct first flight evaluations of the Manned Maneuvering Units (MMUs). These EVAs represented man's first untethered operations from a spacecraft in flight.

He next served as a mission specialist on STS 51-J, the second Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 3, 1985. This was the maiden voyage of the Atlantis, the final Orbiter in the Shuttle fleet. During this mission, he was responsible for a number of on-orbit activities. After 98 hours of orbital operations, Atlantis landed on Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 7, 1985.

With the completion of this flight, he has logged a total of 289 hours in space, including approximately 12 hours of EVA operations.

Colonel Stewart is in training as a mission specialist on STS 61-K scheduled for launch in September 1986.


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