[Mark Polansky] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Mark L. Polansky
NASA Astronaut

Born June 2, 1956 in Paterson, New Jersey. Considers Edison, New Jersey, his hometown. Enjoys ice hockey, snow skiing, light aircraft flying, music, and the arts. His parents, Irving and Edith Polansky, reside in Edison, New Jersey.

Graduated from John P. Stevens High School, Edison, New Jersey, in 1974; received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, and a master of science degree in aeronautics and astronautics, from Purdue University, both in 1978.

Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School (1987). Distinguished Graduate of USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training (1980). Recipient of the USAF Flying Training Award (1980). Awarded Air Force Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

Polansky received an Air Force commission upon graduation from Purdue University in 1978. He earned his pilot wings in January 1980 at Vance Air Force Base (AFB), Oklahoma. From 1980 to 1983, he was assigned to Langley AFB, Virginia, where he flew the F-15 aircraft. In 1983, Polansky transitioned to the F-5E aircraft and served as an Aggressor Pilot, where he trained tactical aircrews to defeat enemy aircraft tactics. He was assigned in this capacity to Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines, and Nellis AFB, Nevada, until he was selected to attend USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, California, in 1986. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Eglin AFB, Florida, where he conducted weapons and systems testing in the F-15, F-15E, and A-10 aircraft. Polansky left active duty in 1992 to pursue a career at NASA. He has logged over 5,000 flight hours in over 30 different aircraft.

Polansky joined NASA in August 1992, as an aerospace engineer and research pilot. He was assigned to the Aircraft Operations Division of the Johnson Space Center. His primary responsibilities involved teaching the astronaut pilots Space Shuttle landing techniques in the Shuttle Trainer Aircraft and instructing astronaut pilots and mission specialists in the T-38 aircraft. Polansky also conducted flight testing of the NASA T-38 avionics upgrade aircraft.

Selected by NASA in April 1996, Polansky reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned as a member of the Astronaut Support Personnel team at the Kennedy Space Center, supporting Space Shuttle launches and landings. Polansky is currently assigned as pilot on STS-98. The crew will continue the task of building and enhancing the International Space Station by delivering the U.S. laboratory module. The Shuttle will spend six days docked to the station while the laboratory is attached and three spacewalks are conducted to complete its assembly. The STS-98 mission will occur while the first station crew is aboard the new spacecraft. Launch is targeted for October 1999.


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