[Vance Brand] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Vance DeVoe Brand (Mr.)
NASA Astronaut

Born in Longmont, Colorado, May 9, 1931. His mother Mrs. Donna M. Brand, resides in Longmont.

Gray hair; gray eyes; 5 feet 11 inches; 182 pounds.

Graduated from Longmont High School, Longmont, Colorado; received a bachelor of science degree in Business from the University of Colorado in 1953, a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Colorado in 1960, and a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1964.

Married to the former Beverly Ann Whitnel.

Susan N., April 30, 1954; Stephanie, August 6, 1955; Patrick R., March 22, 1958; Kevin S., December 1, 1963; Erik R., May 11, 1981; and Dane V., October 1, 1985.

Enjoys running to stay in condition, hiking, skiing, and camping.

Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and American Astronautical Society. Registered Professional Engineer in Texas. Member, Sigma Nu and Beta Gamma Sigma.

JSC Certificate of Commendation (1970); two NASA Distinguished Service Medal (1975 & 1992); the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1974 & 1988); Zeta Beta Tau's Richard Gottheil Medal (1975); the Wright Brothers International Manned Space Flight Award (1975); the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Space Award (1976 & 1984); the Sigma Nu Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award (1976); the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal (1976); University of Colorado Alumnus of the Century (1 of 12) (1976); the AIAA Special Presidential Citation (1977); the American Astronautical Society's Flight Achievement Award for 1976 (1977); the AIAA Haley Astronautics Award (1978); the JSC Special Achievement Award (1978); Harmon Trophy (Astronaut)(1983); the FAI De La Vaulx Medal (1983); three NASA Space Flight Medals (1983, 1984, 1992); Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at University of Colorado (1984); De Molay Hall of Fame (1989); two FAI komarov awards (1983 & 1991); and the University of Colorado George Norlin Award (1991).

"Military". Commissioned officer and naval aviator with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 to 1957. Military assignments included a 15-month tour

in Japan as a jet fighter pilot. Following release from active duty, Brand continued in Marine Corps Reserve and Air National Guard jet fighter squadrons until 1964.

"Civilian". Employed as a civilian by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation from 1960 to 1966, he worked initially as a flight test engineer on the Navy's P3A aircraft. In 1963, Brand graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and was assigned to Palmdale, California, as an experimental test pilot on Canadian and German F-104 programs. Prior to selection to the astronaut program, Brand worked at the West German F-104G Flight Test Center at Istres, France, as an experimental test pilot and leader of a Lockheed flight test advisory group.

"Flight Experience": 9,669 flying hours, which includes 8,089 hours in jets, 391 hours in helicopters, 746 hours in spacecraft, and checkout in more than 30 types of military aircraft.

One of the 19 pilot astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966, Brand's early experience included being a crew member in the thermal vacuum chamber testing of the prototype command module and support crewman on Apollo 8 and 13. He was backup command module pilot for Apollo 15 and backup commander for Skylabs 3 and 4. Later he flew on four missions; Apollo-Soyuz, STS-5, STS-41B, and STS-35.

"Apollo-Soyuz": Brand was launched on his first space flight on July 15, 1975, as Apollo command module pilot on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission. This flight resulted in the historic meeting in space between American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts. Other crewmen on this 9-day Earth-orbital mission were Thomas Stafford, Apollo commander; Donald Slayton, Apollo docking module pilot; cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, Soyuz commander; and cosmonaut Valeriy Kubasov, Soyuz flight engineer. The Soyuz spacecraft was launched at Baikonur in Central Asia, and the Apollo was launched 7-1/2 hours later at the Kennedy Space Center. Two days later the Apollo accomplished a successful rendezvous and docking with Soyuz. The linkup tested a unique, new docking system and demonstrated international cooperation in space. There were 44 hours of docked joint activities which included 4 crew transfers between the Apollo and the Soyuz. Twenty-eight experiments were performed during the flight. Six records for docked and group flight were set on the mission and are recognized by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. Apollo splashed down in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, on July 25, less than a mile from the targeted splash point, and was promptly recovered by the USS NEW ORLEANS. Mission duration was 217 hours.

STS-5: Brand was commander of STS-5, the first fully operational flight of the Shuttle Transportation System, which launched Columbia on November 11, 1982. His crew comprised Colonel Robert Overmyer, pilot, and two mission specialists, Dr. Joseph Allen and Dr. William Lenoir. STS-5, the first mission with a four man crew, demonstrated the Shuttle as operational by the successful first deployment of two commercial communications satellites from the Orbiter's payload bay. The mission marked the Shuttle's first use of an upper stage rocket, the Payload Assist Module (PAM-D). The satellites were deployed for Satellite Business Systems Corporation of McLean, Virginia, and TELESAT of Ottawa, Canada. Two FAI records for mass to altitude were set on the mission. Numerous flight tests were performed to ascertain Shuttle performance. STS-5 was the last flight to carry the Development Flight Instrumentation package to support extensive flight testing. A Getaway Special, three student projects and medical experiments were included on the mission. The STS-5 crew successfully concluded the 5-day orbital flight of Columbia with the landing approach through a cloud deck to Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California on November 16, 1982. Mission duration was 122 hours.

STS 41-B: Brand commanded Challenger with a crew of five on the tenth flight of the Space Shuttle. The launch was on February 3, 1984. His crew included Commander Robert Gibson, pilot, and 3 mission specialists, Captain Bruce McCandless II, Dr. Ronald McNair, and Lt. Col. Robert Stewart. The flight accomplished the proper shuttle deployment of two Hughes 376 communications satellites which failed to reach desired geosynchronous orbits due to upper stage rocket failures. This mission marked the first flight checkout of the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), and the Manipulator Foot Restraint (MFR), with McCandless and Stewart performing two spectacular extravehicular activities (EVA's). Shuttle rendezvous sensors and computer programs were flight tested for the first time. In addition the German Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), Remote Manipulator System (RMS), 6 Getaway Specials, and materials processing experiments were included on the mission. The 8-day flight of Challenger ended with the first landing to the runway at the Kennedy Space Center on February 11, 1984. Mission duration was 191 hours.

STS-35: Brand again commanded Columbia on the thirty-eighth flight of the Shuttle, this time with a crew of seven. The spectacular night launch on December 2, 1990 started a 9-day mission devoted to round-the-clock observations of stars and other celestial objects. Crewmen included the pilot, Col. Guy Gardner; three mission specialists, Mike Lounge, Dr. Robert Parker and Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman; and two payload specialists, Dr. Samuel Durrance and Dr. Ronald Parise. The 13-ton payload consisted of the 3 ASTRO-1 Ultraviolet (UV) Telescopes and the Broad Band X-ray Telescope. More than 200 Orbiter maneuvers were required to point the telescopes. Other activities included Orbiter engineering flight tests, medical experiments, the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment, and downlinked educational TV programs. This Shuttle flight, the first dedicated to astronomy, provided a rich return of science data to better understand the nature of the universe with emphasis on observation of very active celestial objects. A night landing was made on December 10 to Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base. Mission duration was 215 hours.

With the completion of this flight Brand has logged 746 hours in space, and has commanded three Shuttle missions.

Mr. Brand is currently Director of Plans for the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) Program. In this role he is assigned out of NASA Headquarters to the NASP joint Program Office at Wright-Patterston Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.


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