[Leland D. Melvin] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data



NAME: Leland D. Melvin (Mr.)
NASA Astronaut Candidate (Mission Specialist)

PERSONAL DATA:
Born February 15, 1964 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Unmarried. Recreational interests include piano, reading, music, cycling, tennis, and snowboarding. Chosen by the Detroit Lions in the 11th round of the 1986 NFL college draft. Also participated in the Toronto Argonauts and Dallas Cowboys football training camps. His parents Deems and Grace Melvin, reside in Lynchburg, Virginia.

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Heritage High School, Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1982; received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia in 1986; and a master of science degree in materials science engineering from the University of Virginia in 1991.

ORGANIZATIONS:
National Technical Association (Hampton Roads Chapter Secretary 1993), American Chemical Society, The Society for Experimental Mechanics.

SPECIAL HONORS/AWARDS:
Invention Disclosure Award for Lead Insensitive Fiber Optic Phase Locked Loop Sensor, NASA Outstanding Performance Awards (8), NASA Superior Accomplishment Award (2), Key to the City of Lynchburg, Virginia, NCAA Division I Academic All American, University of Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
Mr. Melvin began working in the Fiber Optic Sensors group of the Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Branch at NASA Langley Research Center in 1989 where he conducted research in the area of physical measurements for the development of advanced instrumentation for Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE). His responsibilities included using optical fiber sensors to measure strain, temperature, and chemical damage in both composite and metallic structures. Additional projects included developing optical interferometric techniques for quantitative determination of damage in aerospace structures and materials. In 1994 Mr. Melvin was selected to lead the Vehicle Health Monitoring (VHM) team for the cooperative Lockheed/NASA X-33 Reuseable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program. The team developed distributed fiber optic strain, temperature and hydrogen sensors for the reduction of vehicle operational costs and to monitor composite liquid oxygen tank and cryogenic insulation performance. In 1996 Mr. Melvin codesigned and monitored construction of an optical NDE facility capable of producing in-line fiber optic Bragg grating strain sensors at rates in excess of 1000 per hour. This facility will provide a means for performing advanced sensor and laser research for development of aerospace and civil health monitoring systems.

Selected by NASA JSC 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, he will receive technical assignments within the Astronaut Office before being assigned to a space flight.

DECEMBER 1998

Click here to return to the SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK HOME PAGE.