[Carlos Noriega] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Carlos I. Noriega (Lieutenant Colonel, USMC)
NASA Astronaut

Born October 8, 1959, in Lima, Peru. Considers Santa Clara, California, to be his hometown. Married to the former Wendy L. Thatcher. They have five children. He enjoys flying, running, snow skiing, racquetball, and spending time with his children. His parents, Rodolfo and Nora Noriega, reside in Gilbert, Arizona. Her parents, John and Elizabeth Thatcher, reside in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Graduated from Wilcox High School, Santa Clara, California, in 1977. Bachelor of science degree in computer science from University of Southern California, 1981. Master of science degree in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School, 1990. Master of science degree in space systems operations from the Naval Postgraduate School, 1990.

Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Air Medal (Strike Flight Award), Navy Achievement Medal, NASA Space Flight Medal.

Noriega was a member of the Navy ROTC unit and received his commission in the United States Marine Corps at the University of Southern California in 1981. Following graduation from flight school, he flew CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters with HMM-165 from 1983 to 1985 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Noriega made two 6-month shipboard deployments in the West Pacific/Indian Ocean including operations in support of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his tour in Hawaii as the Base Operations Officer for Marine Air Base Squadron 24. In 1986 he was transferred to MCAS Tustin, California, where he served as the aviation safety officer and instructor pilot with HMT-301. In 1988, Noriega was selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he earned two master of science degrees. Upon graduation in September 1990, he was assigned to United States Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition to serving as a Space Surveillance Center Commander, he was responsible for several software development projects and was ultimately the command representative for the development and integration of the major space and missile warning computer system upgrades for Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base. At the time of his selection, he was serving on the staff of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan.

He has logged approximately 2,200 flight hours in various fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.

Selected by NASA in December 1994, Noriega reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. He completed a year of training and evaluation, and was qualified for assignment as a mission specialist in May 1996. He has had technical assignments in the Astronaut Office EVA/Robotics and Operations Planning Branches.

Most recently, he served as a mission specialist on STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997), NASA's sixth Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. During this 9-day mission the crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis also conducted a number of secondary experiments, and transferred nearly 4 tons of supplies and experiment equipment between Atlantis and the Mir station. During STS-84 he logged a total of 221 hours and 20 minutes in space traveling 3.6 million miles in 144 orbits of the Earth.

Lt. Col. Noriega will serve on the crew of STS-97, the fourth Space Shuttle mission to carry hardware to space for the assembly of the International Space Station. He is scheduled to conduct 2 space walks on this mission. Launch is targeted for August 1999.


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