Spaceflight Now: STS-103 Mission Report

Steven L. Smith
STS-103 Mission Specialist No. 1
Posted: Dec. 14, 1999

Photo: NASA
Personal Data:
Born December 30, 1958, in Phoenix, Arizona, but considers San Jose, California, to be his hometown. Married. He enjoys flying, scuba diving, basketball, camping, and traveling.

Graduated from Leland High School, San Jose, California, in 1977; received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1981; a master of science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1982; and a master's degree in business administration from Stanford University in 1987.

Special Honors:
NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Performance Award for Excellence, IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, IBM Outstanding Community Service Award. Seven-time high school and collegiate All-American in swimming and water polo. Two-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Champion at Stanford in water polo. Captain of the 1980 NCAA Championship team.

Steve Smith worked for IBM in the Large Scale Integration (semiconductor) Technology Group in San Jose as a technical group lead from 1982 until 1985. During that time, he was responsible for the development of electron beam chemical and lithographic processes. Following a leave to pursue graduate studies, Smith returned to IBM's Hardware and Systems Management Group as a product manager until 1989.

NASA Experience:
Steve Smith is a veteran of two space flights covering 8.8 million miles and three space walks totaling 19 hours. He joined NASA in 1989 in the Mission Operations Directorate. As a payload officer, his duties included preflight payload integration and real-time flight controller support in Mission Control. Preflight integration activities included Shuttle/payload integrated operations development, crew procedures development, and spacecraft design review. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in March 1992 and reported for training in August 1992.

In August 1993, Smith completed one year of astronaut candidate training. In September 1993, Smith became the first member of the 1992 astronaut class to receive a flight assignment. He has served as the Astronaut Office representative for the Space Shuttle main engines, the solid rocket boosters, the external tank, and Shuttle safety. Smith was also assigned to duties at the Kennedy Space Center for a year and a half as a member of the astronaut support team. The team was responsible for Space Shuttle prelaunch vehicle checkout, crew ingress and strap-in prior to launch, and crew egress post landing.

Smith served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Mission STS-68, September 30 to October 11, 1994. Smith's responsibilities were split between Shuttle systems, Space Radar Lab 2 (SRL-2, the flight's primary payload), and several experiments located in the crew cabin. Smith was one of two crewmen trained to perform a space walk had one been required. Endeavour circled Earth 183 times and traveled 4.7 million miles during the 11 day, 5 hour and 46 minute flight.

Smith performed three space walks as a member of the February 1997 STS-82 Discovery crew which serviced the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The crew completed five space walks in order to dramatically improve the scientific capability of the telescope and to replace degraded support equipment. HST's orbit was also increased 8 miles by the crew. The flight orbited the Earth 150 times covering 4.1 million miles in 9 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes and Smith's three space walks totaled 19 hours, 10 minutes.

Steve Smith is the Payload Commander for STS-103, the Third Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission. During STS-103 four spacewalks are scheduled to upgrade HST's performance and scientific return.

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.

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