[Dale Gardner] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Dale A. Gardner (Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut

Born November 8, 1948, in Fairmont, Minnesota, but grew up in Sherburn, Minnesota, and Savanna, Illinois. Now considers his hometown to be Clinton, lowa, where his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Gardner, currently reside.

Brown hair; brown eyes; height: 6 feet; weight: 160 pounds.

Graduated from Savanna Community High School, Savanna, Illinois, in 1966; received a bachelor of science degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Illinois in 1970.

Married to the former Sue Grace Ticusan of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Lisa Amanda, December 18, 1977; Todd Allan, December 19, 1982.

Enjoys snow skiing, golfing, tennis, and jogging. Other interests include photography and woodworking.

Member, Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Tau, and Tau Beta Pi. Fellow of American Astronautical Society.

Awarded the National Defense Service Medal (1970), Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon (1976), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1976), Humanitarian Service Medal (1979), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (1981), NASA Space Flight Medal (1983), Lloyd's of London Meritorious Service Medal (1984), FAI Komarov Diploma (1984), and the AAS 1984 Flight Achievement Award.

Gardner entered on active duty with the U.S. Navy upon graduation from college in July 1970 and was assigned to the Aviation Officer Candidate School at Pensacola, Florida. He was selected as the most promising naval officer from his class. In October 1970, he attended basic naval flight officer training with VT-10 at Pensacola and graduated with the highest academic average ever achieved in the ten year history of the squadron. He proceeded to the Naval Aviation Technical Training Center at Glynco, Georgia, for advanced naval flight officer training and was awarded naval flight officer wings on May 5, 1971, and was selected a distinguished naval graduate.

At the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, from May 1971 to July 1973, he was assigned to the weapons systems test division and involved in F-14A developmental test and evaluation as project officer for testing F-14A inertial navigation systems. Gardner's next assignment was with Fighter Squadron 1 (VF-l), where he flew F-14A aircraft and participated in two WESTPAC cruises while deployed aboard the USS ENTERPRISE. From December 1976 until reporting to NASA in July 1978, he was with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 4 (VX-4) involved in the operational test and evaluation of fighter aircraft.

He has logged more than 2,000 hours flying time in over 20 different types of aircraft and spacecraft.

Gardner was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, he completed a one year training and evaluation period, making him eligible for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. He served as a support crew astronaut for STS-4.

He served as a mission specialist on STS-8, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 30, 1983. He was accompanied by Captain Richard H. Truly (spacecraft commander), Commander Daniel C. Brandenstein (pilot), and fellow mission specialists Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford, Jr., and Dr. William E. Thornton. This was the third flight for the Orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a night launch and night landing. During the mission, the STS-8 crew deployed the Indian National Satellite (INSAT-IB); operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) with the Payload Flight Test Article (PFTA); operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) with live cell samples; conducted medical measurements to understand biophysiological effects on space flight; and activated various earth resources and space science experiments along with four Getaway Special canisters. STS-8 completed 98 orbits of the Earth in 145 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 5, 1983.

He next served as a mission specialist on STS 51-A, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 8, 1984. He was accompanied by Captain Frederick "Rick" Hauck (space craft commander), Captain David M. Walker (pilot), and fellow mission specialists Dr. Joseph P. Allen, and Dr. Anna L. Fisher. This was the second flight of the orbiter Discovery. During the mission the crew deployed two satellites, Canada's Anik D-2 (Telesat H) and Hughes' LEASAT-l (Syncom IV-l), and retrieved for return-to-earth two spacecraft which were in improper orbits, the Palapa B-2 and Westar Vl communication satellites. They also operated the Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME) device and the 3M Company's Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS) experiment. STS 51-A completed 127 orbits of the Earth before landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 16, 1984. With the completion of this flight, Commander Gardner has logged a total of 337 hours in space.

Commander Gardner has been selected to fly as a mission specialist on the first Shuttle flight from the new west coast launch facility at Vandenberg AFB, California.


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