[Michael E. Fossum] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Michael E. Fossum
NASA Astronaut Candidate (Mission Specialist)

Born December 19, 1957 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and grew up in McAllen, Texas. Married to the former Melanie J. London. They have 4 children. He enjoys family activities, jogging, fishing, and backpacking. His mother, Patricia A. Fossum, resides in McAllen, Texas. His father, Merlyn E. Fossum, is deceased.

McAllen High School, McAllen, Texas, 1976.
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1980.
M.S., Systems Engineering , Air Force Institute of Technology, 1981.
M.S., Physical Science (Space Science), University of Houston-Clear Lake, 1997.

Distinguished Military Graduate from Texas A&M University. Awarded the USAF Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and various other service awards. Distinguished Graduate from the USAF Test Pilot School, Class 85A.

Fossum received his commission in the US Air Force from Texas A&M University in May 1980. After completing his graduate work at the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1981, he was detailed to NASA-Johnson Space Center where he supported the development of Space Shuttle flight procedures. He was selected for Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he graduated in 1985. After graduation, Fossum served at Edwards AFB as a Flight Test Engineer in the F-16 Test Squadron, working on a variety of airframe, avionics, and armament development programs. From 1989 to 1992, he served as a Flight Test Manager at Detachment 3, Air Force Flight Test Center. Fossum resigned from active duty in 1992 in order to work for NASA. He has logged over 800 hours in 34 different aircraft.

In January 1993, Fossum was employed by NASA as a systems engineer. His primary responsibilities were to evaluate the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for use as an emergency escape vehicle for the new space station. Later in 1993, Fossum was selected to represent the Flight Crew Operations Directorate in an extensive redesign of the International Space Station. After this, he continued work for the crew office and Mission Operations Directorate in the area of assembly operations. In 1996, Fossum supported the Astronaut Office as a Technical Assistant for Space Shuttle, supporting design and management reviews. In 1997, he served as a Flight Test Engineer on the X-38, a prototype crew escape vehicle for the new Space Station, which is under development in-house by the Engineering Directorate at NASA-JSC and being flight tested at NASA-Dryden.

Selected by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August 1998. Astronaut Candidate Training 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, Fossum will receive technical assignments within the Astronaut Office before being assigned to a space flight.

MARCH 1999

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