[Kathryn Hire] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Kathryn P. (Kay) Hire (Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve)
NASA Astronaut

Born August 26, 1959, in Mobile, Alabama. She enjoys competitive sailing, snow skiing, scuba diving, and fishing.

Graduated from Murphy High School, Mobile, Alabama, in 1977. Bachelor of science degree in engineering and management from the U.S. Naval Academy, 1981. Master of science degree in space technology from Florida Institute of Technology, 1991.

Association of Naval Aviation, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Institute of Navigation, Society of Women Engineers, U.S. Sailing Association.

National Defense Service Medal, Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service ribbon, Space Coast Society of Women Engineers Distinguished New Woman Engineer for 1993.

After earning her Naval Flight Officer Wings in October 1982, Hire conducted worldwide airborne oceanographic research missions with Oceanographic Development Squadron Eight (VXN-8) based at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. She worked as Oceanographic Project Coordinator, Mission Commander and Detachment Officer-in-Charge on board the specially configured P-3 aircraft.

Hire instructed student naval flight officers in the classroom, simulator, and on board the T-43 aircraft at the Naval Air Training Unit on Mather Air Force Base, California. She progressed from Navigation Instructor through Course Manager to Curriculum Manager and was awarded the Air Force Master of Flying Instruction.

In January 1989, Hire joined the Naval Air Reserve at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. Her tours of duty included Squadron Augment Unit VP-0545 and Anti-submarine Warfare Operations Center 0574 and 0374.

Hire became the first female in the United States assigned to a combat aircrew when she reported to Patrol Squadron Sixty-Two (VP-62) on May 13, 1993. As a Patrol Plane Navigator/Communicator she deployed to Iceland, Puerto Rico and Panama. Hire later served at NAS Joint Reserve Base New Orleans with CV-63 USS Kittyhawk 0482 and Tactical Support Center 0682. Presently she is a member of the Naval Reserve, Commander Seventh Fleet Detachment 111 at Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas.

Hire began work at the Kennedy Space Center in May 1989, first as an Orbiter Processing Facility 3 Activation Engineer with EG&G and later as a Space Shuttle Orbiter Mechanical Systems Engineer for Lockheed Space Operations Company. In 1991 she certified as a Space Shuttle Test Project Engineer (TPE). From the TPE computer console position in the Launch Control Center, she integrated all technical aspects of Space Shuttle turnaround maintenance from landing through next launch. Additionally, she headed the checkout of the Extravehicular Mobility Units (spacesuits) and Russian Orbiter Docking System. Hire was assigned Supervisor of Space Shuttle Orbiter Mechanisms and Launch Pad Swing Arms in 1994.

Selected by NASA in December 1994, Hire reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995, and completed a year of training and evaluation. She has worked in mission control as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) since April 1996. Most recently, she served as Mission Specialist 2 on STS-90 Neurolab (April 17 to May 3, 1998). During the 16-day Spacelab flight the seven person crew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia served as both experiment subjects and operators for 26 individual life science experiments focusing on the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system. The STS-90 flight orbited the Earth 256 times, covered 6.3 million miles, and logged her over 381 hours in space.

MAY 1998

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