Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
He has logged over 5,000 hours flying time in 28 different types of aircraft, and 400 carrier landings.
On his first mission, Coats was pilot on the crew of STS-41D, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 30, 1984. This was the maiden flight of the Orbiter Discovery. During this 6-day mission the crew successfully activated the OAST-1 solar cell wing experiment, deployed three satellites (SBS-D, SYNCOM IV-2, and TELSTAR 3-C), operated the CFES-III experiment, the student crystal growth experiment, and photography experiments using the IMAX motion picture camera. The crew earned the name "Icebusters" in successfully removing hazardous ice particles from the orbiter using the Remote Manipulator System. STS-41D completed 96 orbits of the earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 5, 1984.
In February 1985, Coats was selected as spacecraft commander of STS-61H, which was subsequently canceled after the Challenger accident.
As spacecraft commander of STS-29, Coats and his crew launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, aboard the Orbiter Discovery, on March 13, 1989. During this highly successful five day mission, the crew deployed a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, and performed numerous secondary experiments, including a Space Station "heat pipe" radiator experiment, two student experiments, a protein crystal growth experiment, and a chromosome and plant cell division experiment. In addition, the crew took over 3,000 photographs of the earth using several types of cameras, including the IMAX 70 mm movie camera. Mission duration was 80 orbits and concluded with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on March 18, 1989.
With the completion of his second mission, Coats has logged a total of 264 hours in space.
More recently, Coats commanded a seven man crew on STS-39. This unclassified eight day Department of Defense mission launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on April 28, 1991. Crew members worked around-the-clock in two-shift operations during which they deployed, operated and retrieved the SPAS-II spacecraft, in addition to conducting various science experiments including research of both natural and induced phenomena in the Earth's atmosphere. After completing 134 orbits of the Earth, Discovery and her crew landed at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on May 6, 1991.
With the completion of his third mission, Coats has logged over 463 hours in space.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY LAST UPDATED JUNE 1991