[Marcos C. Pontes] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Marcos C. Pontes (Major, Brazil Air Force)
BSA Astronaut (Mission Specialist Candidate)

Born March 11, 1963 in Bauru, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Married to the former Francisca de Fatima Cavalcanti of Angicos, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. They have two children. Recreational interests include weight lifting, soccer, guitar and piano, sketching, watercolor painting. His parents, Vergilio and Zuleika Pontes, reside in Bauru, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her father, Praxedes Cavalcanti, resides in Angicos, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Her mother, Maria Emilia Cavalcanti, is deceased.

Graduated from Liceu Noroeste High School, Bauru, Sao Paulo in 1980; received a bachelor of science in aeronautical technology from the Brazil Air Force Academy, Pirassununga, Sao Paulo in 1984, a bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering, from the Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paulo in 1993, and a master of science degree in Systems Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California in 1998.

Air Force Meritorious Service Medal.

Graduated with Distinction Instituto Technologico de Aeronautica; received the Space and Aeronautics Institute Award and the EMBRAER (Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica) Award in 1994 for Test Pilot Training. Air Force University Award in 1995. Graduated with Distinction Naval Postgraduate School.

Pontes graduated as a military pilot from the Brazil Air Force Academy, Pirassununga, Sao Paulo, in 1984. After one year of advanced jet training at the 2/5 Instruction Aviation Group, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, he was assigned to 3/10 Strike Aviation Group, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul. As a military pilot, he was qualified as an instructor for Ground Attack missions and Attack's Advanced Air Controlling. As a Flight Safety Officer, his work experience included 4 years in aeronautical accident investigation. From 1989 to 1993 he attended Aeronautical Engineering course, followed by a one year Test Pilot course. As a test pilot he worked on weapons development, missile tests and aircraft evaluation. He has logged over 1,700 flight hours in more than 20 different aircraft, including F-15, F-16, F18 and MIG-29. In 1996, he was assigned to the Naval Postgraduate School. Pontes graduated from Naval Postgraduate School when he was selected for the astronaut program.

In August 1998, he reported to the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. He will attend Astronaut Candidate Training which includes orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques. Following a period of training and evaluation, Pontes will receive technical assignments within the Astronaut Office before being assigned to a space flight.


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