Dr. John M. Grunsfeld
STS-103 Mission Specialist No. 3
Posted: Dec. 14, 1999
Born October 10, 1958, in Chicago, Illinois. Married to the former Carol E. Schiff. They have two children. He enjoys mountaineering, flying, sailing, bicycling, and music. His parents, Ernest and Sally Grunsfeld, reside in Highland Park, Illinois. Her parents, David and Ruth Schiff, reside in Highland Park, Illinois.
Graduated from Highland Park High School, Highland Park, Illinois, in 1976; received a bachelor of science degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980; a master of science degree and a doctor of philosophy degree in physics from the University of Chicago in 1984 and 1988, respectively.
American Astronomical Society.
W.D. Grainger Fellow in Experimental Physics, 1988-89. NASA Graduate Student Research Fellow, 1985-87. NASA Space Flight Medals (1995, 1997). NASA Exceptional Service Medals (1997, 1998).
Dr. Grunsfeld's academic positions include that of Visiting Scientist, University of Tokyo/Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (1980-81); Graduate Research Assistant, University of Chicago (1981-85); NASA Graduate Student Fellow, University of Chicago (1985-87); W.D. Grainger Postdoctoral Fellow in Experimental Physics, University of Chicago (1988-89); and Senior Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology (1989-92). Dr. Grunsfeld's research has covered x-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, high energy cosmic ray studies, and development of new detectors and instrumentation. Dr. Grunsfeld studies binary pulsars and energetic x-ray and gamma-ray sources using the NASA Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, x-ray astronomy satellites, radio telescopes, and optical telescopes.
Dr. Grunsfeld was selected by NASA in March 1992, and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. He completed one year of training and is qualified for flight selection as a mission specialist. Dr. Grunsfeld was initially detailed to the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch. Following his first flight, he led a team of engineers and computer programmers tasked with defining and producing the crew displays for command and control of the International Space Station (ISS). As part of this activity he directed an effort combining the resources of the Mission Control Center (MCC) Display Team and the Space Station Training Facility. The result was the creation of the Common Display Development Facility (CDDF), responsible for the onboard and MCC displays for the ISS, using object-oriented programming techniques. Following his second flight he was assigned as Chief of the Computer Support Branch in the Astronaut Office supporting Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs and advanced technology development. A veteran of two space flights (STS-67 in 1995 and STS-81 in 1997), he has logged over 644 hours in space. Dr. Grunsfeld is assigned to STS-103, the third Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission. In order to install new instruments and to upgrade systems to enhance the scientific capabilities of the orbiting HST, a record six spacewalks are scheduled during the mission.
STS-67 Astro-2 (March 2-18, 1995) was the second flight of the Astro observatory, a unique complement of three telescopes. During this record-setting 16-day mission, the crew conducted observations around the clock to study the far ultraviolet spectra of faint astronomical objects and the polarization of ultraviolet light coming from hot stars and distant galaxies. Mission duration was 399 hours and 9 minutes.
STS-81 (January 12-22, 1997) was a ten-day mission, the fifth to dock with Russia's Space Station Mir, and the second to exchange U.S. astronauts. The mission also carried the Spacehab double module providing additional middeck locker space for secondary experiments. In five days of docked operations more than three tons of food, water, experiment equipment and samples were moved back and forth between the two spacecraft. Following 160 orbits of the Earth the STS-81 mission concluded with a landing on Kennedy Space Center's Runway 33 ending a 3.9 million mile journey. Mission duration was 244 hours, 56 minutes.
Explore the Net
NASA Human Spaceflight - Space agency Web site dedicated to International Space Station and space shuttle programs.
Press kit - Official STS-103 mission press kit.
Shuttle Media Reference Guide - Complete in-depth look at space shuttle systems and facilities.
Shuttle Countdown Online - NASA Kennedy Space Center site with pre-launch information.
Hubble Space Telescope - Home page of NASA's first Great Observatory.
HST Servicing Mission 3A - NASA site focused on this servicing mission of Hubble.
European Space Agency - partner in HST program and has two astronauts flying on STS-103.
United Space Alliance - prime contractor responsible for daily shuttle processing work.
Thiokol - Manufactures the shuttle's solid rocket boosters.
Rocketdyne - Division of Boeing that builds shuttle main engines.
Lockheed Martin - Corporation that builds the external fuel tank.
Sign up for Astronomy Now's NewsAlert service and have the latest news in astronomy and space e-mailed directly to your desktop (free of charge).