National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
NAME: Jon A. McBride (Captain, USN)
- NASA Astronaut
- Born August 14, 1943, in Charleston, West Virginia, but
considers Beckley, West Virginia, to be his hometown. His mother, Mrs. W. L.
McBride, resides in Charleston, West Virginia.
- Red hair; blue eyes; height: 6 feet 2 inches; weight:
- Graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, Beckley, West Virginia,
in 1960; received a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from
the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1971. Graduate work in Human Resources
Management at Pepperdine University.
- Married to the former Sharon Lynne White of Nacogdoches,
- Lt. Richard M. (USN), March 3, 1962; Melissa L., December 12, 1966;
and Jon A., October 21, 1970; Stephen Michael, August 4, 1971.
- He enjoys flying, basketball, golf, softball,
racquetball, gourmet cooking, numismatics, gardening, and carpentry.
- Member of Association of Naval Aviation, the Tailhook
Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion; associate
member, Society of Experimental Test Pilots; and life member of Phi Delta Theta
and the National Honor Society.
- Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM), 3 Air
Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, a Navy Unit Commendation,
the National Defense Medal, the Vietnamese Service Medal, and the NASA Space
Flight Medal; recipient of West Virginia Secretary of State's "State Medallion"
and appointed "West Virginia Ambassador of Good Will Among All Men" (1980).
Received Honorary Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from Salem College (1984);
Honorary Doctorate of Science from West Virginia University (1985); Honorary
Doctorate of Science from University of Charleston (1987); Honorary Doctorate
of Science from West Virginia Institute of Technology (1987).
- McBride's naval service began in 1965 with flight training at
Pensacola, Florida. After winning his wings as a naval aviator, he was
assigned to Fighter Squadron 101 based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia,
for training in the F-4 "Phantom II" aircraft. He was subsequently assigned to
Fighter Squadron 41 where he served 3 years as a fighter pilot and division
officer. He has also served tours with Fighter Squadrons 11 and 103. While
deployed to Southeast Asia, McBride flew 64 combat missions.
He attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base
prior to reporting to Air Test and Development Squadron Four at Point Mugu,
California, where he served as maintenance officer and Sidewinder project
officer. He has flown over 40 different types of military and civilian
aircraft and piloted the Navy "Spirit of '76" bicentennial-painted F-4J
"Phantom" in various air shows during 1976, 1977, and 1978. He holds current
FAA ratings which include commercial pilot (multi-engine), instrument, and
glider; and he previously served as a certified flight instructor (CFI).
He has logged more than 5,200 hours flying time -- including 4,700 hours in jet
- Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978,
McBride became an astronaut in August 1979. His NASA assignments have included
lead chase pilot for the maiden voyage of "Columbia"; software verification in
the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); and capsule communicator
(CAPCOM) for STS-5, STS-6, and STS-7. McBride was pilot of STS 41-G, which
launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 5, 1984,aboard the
Orbiter Challenger. This was the first crew of seven. During their eight day
mission, crew members deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted
scientific observations of the earth with the OSTA-3 pallet and Large Format
Camera, and demonstrated potential satellite refueling with an EVA and
associated hydrazine transfer. Mission duration was 197 hours and concluded
with a landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 13, 1984.
McBride was scheduled to fly next in March 1986, as the commander of STS 61-E
crew. This flight was one of several deferred by NASA in the wake of the
Challenger accident in January 1986.
On July 30, 1987, Captain McBride was assigned to NASA Headquarters to serve as
Acting Assistant Administrator for Congressional Relations, with
responsibility for NASA's relationship with Congress, and for providing
coordination and direction to all Headquarters and Field Center communications
with Congressional support organizations. He held this post from September
1987 thru March 1989. Last year McBride was named to command the crew of the
STS-35 (ASTRO-1) mission, scheduled for launch in March 1990.
In May 1989, Captain McBride retired from NASA and the Navy, in order to pursue
a business career. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer,
Flying Eagle Corp., Lewisburg, West Virginia.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER, 1989
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