[John Fabian] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: John M. Fabian (Colonel, USAF)
NASA Astronaut

Born January 28, 1939, in Goosecreek, Texas, but considers Pullman, Washington, to be his hometown. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. Felix M. Fabian, Sr., reside in Longview, Texas.

Brown hair; green eyes; height: 6 feet 1 inch; weight: 175 pounds.

Graduated from Pullman High School, Pullman, Washington, in 1957; received a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University in 1962; a master of science in Aerospace Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Techno!ogy in 1964; and a doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington in 1974.

Married to the former Donna Kay Buboltz of Spokane, Washington; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Buboltz, are residents of Seattle, Washington.

Michael K., August 6, 1962; Amy L., November 15, 1965.

He enjoys skiing, stamp collecting, and jogging.

Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Tau, Phi Sigma Kappa, the Order of Daedalians, and the Boy Scouts of America.

Awarded Air Force Astronaut Wings; NASA Space Flight Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster; Federation Aeronautique Internationale - Komarov Diploma; an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal; an Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; an Air Force Commendation Medal; the Washington State University Sloan Engineering Award (1961); the Air Training Command Academic Training Award (1966); the Squadron Officer School Commandant's Trophy (1968); the Squadron Officer School Chief of Staff Award (1968); the Washington State University Distinguished Alumnus Award (1983); and the Washington State Service to Humanity Award (1983).

Fabian, an Air Force ROTC student at Washington State University, was commissioned upon graduation in 1962. After an assignment at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, he was assigned as an aeronautics engineer in the service engineering division, San Antonio Air Materiel Area, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. He then attended flight training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, and subsequently spent 5 years as a KC-135 pilot at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan. He saw action in Southeast Asia, flying 90 combat missions. Following additional graduate work at the University of Washington, he served four years on the faculty of the Aeronautics Department at the USAF Academy in Colorado.

He has logged 4,000 hours flying time, including 3,400 hours in jet aircraft.

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978, Fabian became an astronaut in August 1979. During the following years, he worked extensively on satellite deployment and retrieval activities, including the development of the Canadian Remote Manipulator System.

Fabian first flew as a mission specialist on STS-7, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18, 1983. He was accompanied by Capt. Robert Crippen (mission commander), Capt. Rick Hauck (pilot), and fellow mission specialists Dr. Sally Ride and Dr. Norm Thagard. This was the second flight for the Orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a 5-person crew. During the mission, the STS-7 crew deployed satellites for Canada (ANIK C-2) and Indonesia (PALAPA B-l); operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to perform the first deployment and retrieval exercise with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01); conducted the first formation flying of the orbiter with a free-flying satellite (SPAS-01); carried and operated the first U.S./German cooperative materials science payload (OSTA-2); and operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) and the Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiments, in addition to activating seven Getaway Specials. Mission duration was 147 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24, 1983.

On his second mission, Fabian flew on STS 51-G which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 17, 1985, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24, 1985, after completing approximately 170 hours of space flight. He was accompanied by Capt. Daniel Brandenstein (mission commander), Cdr. John Creighton (pilot), fellow mission specialists Lt. Col. Steve Nagel and Dr. Shannon Lucid, and payload specialists Lt. Col. Patrick Baudry (France) and Prince Sultan Salman Al-Saud (Saudi Arabia). This international crew deployed communications satellites for Mexico (Morelos), the Arab League (Arabsat), and the United States (AT&T Telstar). They used the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to deploy and later retrieve the SPARTAN satellite which performed 17 hours of x-ray astronomy experiments while separated from the Space Shuttle. In addition, the crew activated the Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (ADSF), six Getaway Specials, participated in biomedical experiments, and conducted a laser tracking experiment as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative.


Colonel Fabian has been designated to fly as a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Atlantis mission, STS 61-G, scheduled for launch in May 1986, to deploy the Galileo spacecraft which will explore the planet Jupiter.


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