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Edgar Rice Burroughs
Volume 0435a
(Reference Section)
presents

TERRY WILCUTT
NASA ASTRONAUT & SHUTTLE COMMANDER

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[Terrence Wilcutt]
"Characters such as Tarzan ... helped me be honest and morally strong. They were good examples to emulate when you are growing up. The same can be said for John Carter and David Innes....

"The people who write science-fiction stories are dreamers. They create the ideas from which scientists begin their search. Just think what this country would be like if we did not have writers who dream of making things better for this country and the world. Without the dreamer, our country could be in pretty bad shape. Science fiction is the material from which dreams begin their initial journey to reality. Without that first building block, we, as a nation, cannot advance and we would eventually stagnate. A stagnating civilization will eventually collapse in on itself.

"I would have never gone into space had it not been for someone in the past who one day wondered if space travel was possible -- that person dreamed the dream and I was very fortunate to be able to fulfill his dream from long ago. That's an incredible process when you  think about it. It applies to everything we do."

~Terrence W. Wilcutt

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NASA ASTRONAUT BIOGRAPHY: TERRY WILCUTT

NAME: Terrence W. Wilcutt (Colonel, USMC) ~ NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born October 31, 1949, in Russellville, Kentucky. Enjoys flying, running, weight lifting, woodworking.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Southern High School, Louisville, Kentucky in 1967; received a bachelor of arts degree in math from Western Kentucky University in 1974.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member of Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP).

SPECIAL HONORS: Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Superior Service Medal,Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Pritchard Committee for Academic Excellence, NASA Space Flight Medals (4), Navy Commendation Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Distinguished Graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School.

EXPERIENCE: After graduation from college in 1974, Wilcutt taught high school math for two years prior to entering the Marine Corps. He was commissioned in 1976 and earned his wings in 1978. Following initial F-4 Phantom training in VMFAT-101, he reported to VMFA-235, Kaneohe, Hawaii. While assigned to VMFA-235, Wilcutt attended the Naval Fighter Weapons School (Topgun) and made two overseas deployments to Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. In 1983, he was selected for F/A-18 conversion training and served as an F/A-18 Fighter Weapons and Air Combat Maneuvering Instructor in VFA-125, Lemoore, California. In 1986, Wilcutt was selected to attend the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS),where he earned the title "Distinguished Graduate." Following graduation from USNTPS he was assigned as a test pilot/project officer for Strike Aircraft Test Directorate (SATD) at the Naval Aircraft Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland. While assigned to SATD, Wilcutt flew the F/A-18 Hornet, the A-7 Corsair II, the F-4 Phantom, and various other aircraft to test a wide variety of projects and classified programs. He has over 4,400 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in January 1990, Wilcutt became an astronaut in July 1991. Technical assignments to date include: work on Space Shuttle Main Engine and External Tank issues; Astronaut Support Personnel team at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, supporting Space Shuttle launches and landings; technical issues for the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch; NASA Director of Operations at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia; Chief of the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch. He was the pilot on STS-68 in 1994 and STS-79 in 1996, and was the mission commander on STS-89 in 1998 and STS-106 in 2000. A veteran of four space flights, Wilcutt has logged over 1,007 hours in space.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-68 Endeavour (September 30 to October 11, 1994) was part of NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth. STS-68, Space Radar Lab-2 (SRL-2), was the second flight of three advanced radars called SIR-C/X-SAR (Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar), and a carbon-monoxide pollution sensor, MAPS (Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites). SIR-C/X-SAR and MAPS operated together in Endeavour’s cargo bay to study Earth’s surface and atmosphere, creating radar images of Earth’s surface environment and mapping global production and transport of carbon monoxide pollution. Real-time crew observations of environmental conditions, along with over 14,000 photographs aided the science team in interpreting the SRL data. The SRL-2 mission was a highly successful test of technology intended for long-term environmental and geological monitoring of planet Earth.  STS-68 launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Mission duration was 11 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes, traveling 4.7 million miles in 183 orbits of the Earth. 

STS-79 Atlantis (September 16-26, 1996), the fourth in the joint American-Russian Shuttle-Mir series of missions, launched from and returned to land at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-79 rendezvoused with the Russian MIR space station and ferried supplies,  personnel, and scientific equipment to this base 240 miles above the Earth. The crew transferred over 3.5 tons of supplies to and from the Mir and exchanged U.S. astronauts on Mir for the first time - leaving John Blaha and bringing Shannon Lucid home after her record six months stay aboard Mir. Mission duration was 10 days,    3 hours, 18 minutes, traveling 3.9 million miles in 159 orbits of the Earth.

STS-89 (January 22-31, 1998), was the eighth Shuttle-Mir docking mission during which the crew transferred more than 9,000 pounds of scientific equipment, logistical hardware and water from Space Shuttle Endeavour to Mir. In the fifth and last exchange of a U.S. astronaut, STS-89 delivered Andy Thomas to Mir and returned with David Wolf. Mission duration was 8 days, 19 hours and 47 seconds, traveling 3.6 million miles in 138 orbits of the Earth.

STS-106 Atlantis (September 8-20, 2000) was a 12-day mission during which the crew successfully prepared the International Space Station for the arrival of the first permanent crew. The five astronauts and two cosmonauts delivered more than 6,600 pounds of supplies and installed batteries, power converters, life support, and exercise equipment on the Space Station. Two crew members performed a space walk in order to connect power, data and communications cables to the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module and the Space Station. STS-106 orbited the Earth 185 times, and covered 4.9 million miles in 11 days, 19 hours, and 10 minutes.
 

NASA SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION STS-106

Commander Wilcutt (far left) and the crew of the September 2000 shuttle mission to the International Space Station. The main objectives of this mission involved hooking up equipment and unpacking and stowing gear for the first resident crew.

MISSION STS-106
NASA Johnson Space Center Mission Status Reports



NASA Johnson Space Center Mission Status Reports and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to majordomo@listserver.jsc.nasa.gov. In the body of the message users should type subscribe hsfnews


STS-106: Report # 18: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2000 - 7 p.m. CDT

STS-106 Mission Commander Terry Wilcutt and his crew were awakened at 6:46 p.m. Central to begin their final full day of docked operations with the International Space Station.  By the end their workday on Sunday morning, Atlantis' astronauts will have finished their efforts of making the orbiting facility a home for the arrival of the first permanent residents of the outpost and all of the hatches between Atlantis and the station will have been closed in preparation for the Shuttle's departure on Sunday evening.

The wake up call for Wilcutt and his crew - Pilot Scott Altman along with Mission Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morukov - was the U.S. Coast Guard's "Semper Paratus" (Always Ready), played for Burbank, a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard.

The Atlantis astronauts will finish checking the three tons of supplies and equipment that have been transferred from the Shuttle and an unmanned Russian supply vehicle in preparation for the arrival of the first station crew in November.  Then in a reversal of the procedures they followed last Monday when they entered the station, the crew will close and secure the hatches that connect each of the station components.  The first hatch closure between the Progress vehicle and the Zvezda Service Module should take place just after 10 p.m. Central.  The final hatch between the station and Atlantis will be secured around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.

In addition to station closeout activity, the STS-106 astronauts will checkout rendezvous tools and install the centerline camera in the orbiter docking system that will be used to support the undocking and fly around of the station Sunday night.

The fourth and final in a series of jet thruster firings to gently raise the station's altitude will occur while the hatch closing activity is taking place.  Beginning about 10:30 p.m., Atlantis' maneuvering thrusters will be pulsed to gently raise the station about 3½ statute miles.  In all, the four maneuvers will have raised the average altitude of the orbiting facility by 14 statute miles.

The STS-106 crew will begin an eight-hour sleep period at 10:46 a.m. tomorrow morning.  Following their wake up, the astronauts will immediately move into undocking preparations with undocking scheduled for 10:44 p.m. Sunday.

All of the systems on Atlantis and the International Space Station are functioning normally.  The next STS-106 status report will be issued about 8 a.m. Sunday or sooner if events warrant.



STS-106: Report # 20:  Sunday, Sept. 17, 2000 - 7 p.m. CDT

Following a successful week of docked operations, the seven astronauts aboard Shuttle Atlantis will depart the International Space Station later this evening, leaving behind the more than three tons (6,600 pounds) of supplies and equipment that was transferred to the orbiting facility.

Commander Terri Wilcutt, Pilot Scott Altman along with Mission Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Moukov received their wake up call from Mission Control at 6:46 p.m. Central.  The wake up song, "YMCA" was played for Scott Altman at the request of his wife.

The seven STS-106 astronauts will shortly begin the final preparations for undocking.  Atlantis is scheduled to separate from the station at 10:44 p.m. while the two spacecrafts are flying over the northeastern portion of the Ukraine.

The initial separation will be performed by springs in the docking mechanism that will gently push the shuttle away from the station. Both Atlantis and the station's steering jets will be shut off to avoid any inadvertent firings during this initial separation.

Once the docking mechanism's springs have pushed Atlantis away to a distance of about two feet, when the docking devices will be clear of one another, Altman will turn the shuttle's steering jets back on and fire them to begin very slowly moving away from the station.  From the aft flight deck, Altman will manually control Atlantis within a tight corridor as he separates from the station, essentially reversing the task performed by Wilcutt when Atlantis docked.

Atlantis will continue away to a distance of about 450 feet, where Altman will begin the close fly-around of the station, first crossing a point directly behind, then directly underneath and then again above the station. Altman will circle the station twice in 90 minutes as the crew records views of the exterior with still photography and video. As Atlantis crosses directly above the station for the second time, Altman will fire Atlantis' jets to perform a final separation.

Early on Monday, all seven astronauts will conduct an in-flight press conference during which they will answer questions from reporters at various NASA centers and the Russian mission control center outside of Moscow.  The press conference is scheduled to begin at 2:11 a.m. CDT.

Atlantis' astronauts will get some off duty time just after 3 a.m. Central before they turn in for an eight hour sleep period at 9:46 a.m.  When they wake up early Monday evening, the crew will checkout the orbiter systems used for reentry and landing and secure equipment and transfer items in preparation for landing at Kennedy Space Center at 2:56 a.m. Central on Wednesday.



STS-106: Report # 21:  Monday, September 17, 2000 - 3:30 a.m. CDT

Atlantis' seven astronauts and cosmonauts successfully undocked from the International Space Station after accomplishing all mission objectives in outfitting the station for the first resident crew.

"We laid out the red carpet for the first crew to come aboard," said Bob Cabana, manager of international operations for the International Space Station Program.

Undocking occurred at 10:46 p.m. CDT Sunday over Russia near the northeastern portion of the Ukraine. When Atlantis was at a safe distance from the station, about 450 feet, Pilot Scott Altman performed a 90-minute, double-loop fly around to enable the crew to document the station's exterior. He fired Atlantis' jets one final time to separate from the station at 12:35 a.m.

"It really glistened out there, sunrise and sunset on the service module," Altman said, when asked about the fly around during a crew news conference early Monday. "It sparkled like a jewel against the blue background of the oceans."

Commander Terry Wilcutt, Altman and Mission Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morukov all answered questions posed by reporters at NASA centers and the Russian mission control center outside of Moscow.

Wilcutt said he had no advice for the first station residents - Bill Shepherd, Sergei Krikalov and Yuri Gidzenko -- other than to "enjoy it like a new home." When asked about living conditions aboard the station, in particular noise levels inside the Zvezda service module, he said "We all think it's just fine. No louder than the shuttle. It's just fine the way it is."

Following the in-flight press conference, Malenchenko and Morukov remained in Atlantis' middeck to field questions from Russian reporters in Moscow before enjoying six hours of off-duty time and an eight-hour sleep period.

When the astronauts are awakened at 5:46 p.m. CDT this afternoon, they will check out the shuttle systems used for reentry and landing and secure equipment and transfer items. in preparation for their homecoming. Landing is scheduled for 2:56 a.m. CDT Wednesday at Kennedy Space Center.



STS-106: Report # 22: Monday, Sept. 18, 2000 - 7 p.m. CDT

Having departed the International Space Station last night, Atlantis' crew will now spend a day checking the shuttle's equipment and stowing away gear in preparation for the trip home, aiming for a 2:56 a.m. CDT landing on Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

STS-106 Mission Commander Terry Wilcutt along with Pilot Scott Altman and Mission Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morukov were awakened at 5:46 p.m. Central to begin what should be their final full day in orbit.  This evening's wake-up song was "Home in the Islands" by The Brothers Cazimero, played for Lu who considers Honolulu a hometown.

This evening Wilcutt and Altman will test the systems that will be used during the return home to Kennedy Space Center to ensure that equipment remains in good condition.  Around 8:45 p.m Central, a test of the flight control systems that maneuver the shuttle once it re-enters the atmosphere and beings to operate like an airplane will be conducted.  Just before 10 p.m., a test fire of all 44 thruster jets on Atlantis will be performed to verify they are in good working order.

The astronauts also will spend part of their work day putting away the equipment they have been using over the last week along with items being brought back from the International Space Station in preparation for their return to Earth.

Atlantis remains in excellent operating condition, as does the International Space Station, now more than 100 statute miles behind the shuttle.  The two spacecraft are moving about 8.8 miles farther apart with each orbit of Earth. For a touchdown in Florida at 2:56 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, Atlantis would fire its engines to begin a descent at 1:49 a.m. CDT.  A second opportunity also exists for a landing in Florida on the next orbit.  The second opportunity would have the deorbit burn taking place at 3:27 a.m. CDT and Atlantis touching down on the 3-mile-long runway at KSC at 4:33 a.m. CDT.



STS-106: Report # 23:  Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2000 - 7 a.m. CDT

Atlantis' crew turned its attention to checking shuttle systems and packing up equipment for the return home scheduled for 2:56 a.m. CDT, Wednesday back at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  The weather forecast calls for scattered clouds, a light sea-breeze, and only a slight chance of rain off the coast.

Winding down from the hectic pace of International Space Station outfitting, which saw the crew move more than 6,600 pounds of supplies into the station, the crew of five astronauts and two cosmonauts spent much of today tearing down their campsite.  They'll turn in for one last night in space about 10 this morning and receive a wakeup call from Mission Control at 5:46 this afternoon.

STS-106 Commander Terry Wilcutt and Pilot Scott Altman tested the systems that will be used during the return home, ensuring that all 44 of Atlantis' thruster jets and flight control surfaces are in good working order.

The packing and housekeeping chores high on the list of priorities included deactivating systems in the pressurized Spacehab module that served as a cargo hold for the equipment and supplies transferred to the station, and putting away other equipment used in the rendezvous, docking, space walk, undocking and fly around of the previous week.

With weather conditions favorable in Florida, and nearly perfect in California at the backup landing site at Edwards Air Force Base, managers elected to aim for a landing in Florida only, Wednesday.  Edwards would be considered for Thursday, however.

For a touchdown on the 3-mile-long Shuttle Landing Facility runway on the first opportunity tomorrow, Atlantis would fire its engines to begin a descent at 1:50 a.m.  A second opportunity to land in Florida starts with a deorbit burn at 3:27 a.m. and ends with Atlantis touching down at 4:33 a.m. CDT.

Atlantis remains in excellent shape as it leads the International Space Station by 140 statute miles.  That distance increases by 5 miles with each orbit of the Earth.



STS-106: Report # 24: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2000 - 7 p.m. CDT

The STS-106 astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis are preparing for their return to Earth with a planned predawn touchdown on the 3-mile long Shuttle Landing Facility runway at the Kennedy Space Center at 2:56 a.m. CDT Wednesday.  The forecasted weather for early Wednesday shows essentially favorable conditions with some concern for rain showers in the vicinity of the Florida spaceport.

Commander Terry Wilcutt, Pilot Scott Altman and Mission Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morukov were awaken at 5:46 p.m. to the song "Houston", performed by Dean Martin..

Just before 10 p.m., the astronauts will begin their deorbit preparations.  After closing Atlantis' payload bay doors at 11:10 p.m, the crew will put on their pressurized launch and entry suits and strap into their seats shortly before 1 a.m.  Entry Flight Director Wayne Hale is expected to poll the flight control team for the final decision for the deorbit burn 20 minutes prior to the planned firing of Atlantis' orbital maneuvering system engines at 1:50 a.m. Central which would result in a landing for Atlantis at 2:56 a.m.

There is a second landing opportunity available on the next orbit if needed.  For the second landing opportunity, Atlantis would fire its engines at 3:26 a.m., for a KSC touchdown at 4:33 a.m. Central.

During their 12-day flight, the astronauts spent a week docked to the International Space Station during which they transferred more than 3 tons of supplies and equipment, preparing the orbiting facility as a home for the first resident, or Expedition crew, scheduled to arrive at the new outpost in early November.

The next mission status report will be issued shortly after landing or a landing waveoff early Wednesday morning.



STS-106: Report # 25: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2000 - 3 a.m. CDT

Atlantis and its seven astronauts swooped to a predawn landing at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday, wrapping up a mission to prepare the initial living quarters of the International Space Station for its first residents.

Commander Terry Wilcutt guided Atlantis to a landing at 2:56 a.m. Central time, wrapping up a 4.9 million mile mission in which more than three tons of equipment were delivered to the international outpost. Wilcutt and his crewmates, Pilot Scott Altman and Mission Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morukov completed the 23rd consecutive landing of a shuttle at the Florida spaceport, and the 30th landing of a shuttle at the Cape in the last 31 flights.

During their 12-day flight, the astronauts spent a week docked to the International Space Station during which they worked as movers, cleaners, plumbers, electricians and cable installers. In all, they spent 7 days, 21 hours and 54 minutes docked to the International Space Station, outfitting the new Zvezda module for the arrival of the Expedition One crew later this fall.

Atlantis' landing came just two weeks before the launch of Discovery on the next assembly flight to the station, the STS-92 mission, scheduled for liftoff around October 5. Seven astronauts will install a large truss structure to the Unity node of the Station, housing motion control gear and communications equipment. The so-called Z1 truss will also serve as the mounting platform for the large U.S. solar arrays for the station which will be delivered late this year.

The STS-106 crew is scheduled to return to Houston and a welcome home at Ellington Field about 2 p.m. Thursday.



NASA Johnson Space Center Mission Status Reports and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to majordomo@listserver.jsc.nasa.gov. In the body of the message users should type subscribe hsfnews

REFERENCE LINKS
Mission Control Status Report #4
Russian Space Program I
NASA Preflight Interview with Terrence Wilcutt
STS-89 Commander Terrence Wilcutt
NASA Shuttle/Mir Crew
NASA Human Space Flight

Terry Wilcutt

INTERVIEW
Back to ERBzine 0435 
which features a conversation between two long-time ERB fans:
Terry and Dennis Wilcutt

Volume 0435a

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