[Kent Rominger] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Kent V. Rominger (Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut

Born August 7, 1956, in Del Norte, Colorado. Married to the former Mary Sue Rule. One child. He enjoys snow skiing, water skiing, horseback riding, and running. His parents, Mr. & Mrs. R. Vernon Rominger, reside in Del Norte, Colorado. Her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Delbert Rule, of Durango, Colorado, are deceased.

Graduated from Del Norte High School, Del Norte, Colorado, in 1974; received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University in 1978; a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1987.
Association of Space Explorers, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Association of Naval Aviation, and Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Society.

Defense Superior Service Medal. Defense Meritorious Service Medal. Navy Commendation Medal. Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Naval Air Test Center Test Pilot of the Year (1988). Society of Experimental Test Pilots Ray E. Tenhoff Award (1990) and Jack Northrop Award (1996). West Coast Tomcat Fighter Pilot of the Year (1992). Top Ten Carrier Landing Distinction in Airwings Two and Nine.

Rominger received his commission through the Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate (AVROC) Program in 1979, and was designated a Naval Aviator in September 1980. Following training in the F-14 Tomcat, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron Two (VF-2) from October 1981 to January 1985 aboard the USS Ranger and USS Kitty Hawk. While assigned to VF-2 Rominger attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). In 1987 he completed the Naval Postgraduate School/Test Pilot School Cooperative Program, and was assigned as F-14 Project Officer to the Carrier Suitability Branch of the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at Patuxent River, Maryland. During his tour of duty Rominger completed the initial carrier suitability sea trials of the F-14B, logging the first aircraft carrier arrestment and catapult launch in the upgraded Tomcat. In September 1990 he reported to Fighter Squadron Two Hundred Eleven (VF-211) where he served as Operations Officer and completed a Desert Storm Deployment to the Arabian Gulf aboard USS Nimitz.

He has logged over 5,000 flying hours in over 35 types of aircraft and 685 carrier landings.

Selected by NASA in March 1992, Rominger reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. He completed one year of training and is qualified for assignment as a pilot on future Space Shuttle flight crews. Rominger was initially assigned to work technical issues for the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch. A veteran of three space flights, Rominger has logged over 1,090 hours in space. He flew as pilot on STS-73 in 1995, STS-80 in 1996 and STS-85 in 1997. Rominger is assigned to command the crew of Discovery on STS-96, a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station. Launch is targeted for May 1999.

STS-73 Columbia (October 20 to November 5, 1995) was the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission. The mission focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, the physics of fluids, and numerous scientific experiments housed in the pressurized Spacelab module. In completing his first space flight, Rominger orbited the earth 256 times, traveled over 6 million miles, and logged a total of 15 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds in space.

STS-80 Columbia (November 19 to December 7, 1996) was a 17-day mission during which the crew deployed and retrieved the Wake Shield Facility (WSF) and the Orbiting Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer (ORFEUS) satellites. The free-flying WSF created a super vacuum in its wake and grew thin film wafers for use in semiconductors and other high-tech electrical components. The ORFEUS instruments, mounted on the reusable Shuttle Pallet Satellite, studied the origin and makeup of stars. In completing his second space flight, Rominger orbited the earth a record 278 times, traveled over 7 million miles and logged 17 days, 15 hours and 53 minutes in space.

STS-85 (August 7-19, 1997) was a 12-day mission during which the crew deployed and retrieved the CRISTA-SPAS satellite, operated the Japanese Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) robotic arm, studied changes in the Earth's atmosphere and tested technology destined for use on the future International Space Station. The mission was accomplished in 189 Earth orbits, traveling 4.7 million miles in 11 days, 20 hours and 27 minutes.


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