Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
He has logged more than 5,000 hours flying time -- including 4,300 hours in jet aircraft.
O'Connor was assigned as pilot on STS 61-M. When that mission was canceled after the Challenger accident, he served as Assistant to the Shuttle Program Manager from March 1986 until February 1988, and as Chairman of NASA's Space Flight Safety Panel from September 1986 to February 1989. From August 1989 to April 1990 he was Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations. He is a veteran of two space missions and has logged over 383 hours in space. In 1985 he served as pilot on the crew of STS 61-B, and in 1991 commanded a seven person crew on STS-40.
On his first mission O'Connor was pilot on the crew of STS 61-B. The Orbiter Atlantis was launched at night from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 26, 1985. During the mission the crew deployed the MORELOS-B, AUSSAT II, and SATCOM K-2 communications satellites, conducted two six-hour space walks to demonstrate Space Station construction techniques with the EASE/ACCESS experiments, operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis (CFES) experiment for McDonnell Douglas and a Getaway Special (GAS) container for Telesat, Canada, conducted several Mexican Payload Specialist Experiments for the Mexican Government, and tested the Orbiter Experiments Digital Autopilot (OEX DAP). This was the heaviest payload weight carried to orbit by the Space Shuttle to date. After completing 108 orbits of the earth in 165 hours, STS 61-B Atlantis landed on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 3, 1985.
More recently, O'Connor commanded the crew of STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-1), a dedicated space and life sciences mission, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 5, 1991. SLS-1 was a nine day mission during which crew members performed experiments which explored how humans, animals and cells respond to microgravity and readapt to earth's gravity on return. Other payloads included experiments designed to investigate materials science, cosmic radiation, and the accelerations on the vehicle resulting from various maneuvers on orbit. Following 146 orbits of the earth, Columbia and her crew landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 14, 1991, to perform the first high speed nosewheel steering test on a concrete runway. Completion of this flight logged him an additional 218 hours in space.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY LAST UPDATED JUNE 1991