Steve Swanson, (PH.D.) is an engineer and a former NASA Astronaut. He flew on two space shuttle missions and one space station expedition.
Swanson graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Physics, after which he earned a Master’s of Applied Science from Florida Atlantic University in Computer Systems. He furthered his education with a Doctorate in Computer Science from Texas A&M. Swanson began his work at NASA in 1987 as a systems engineer and flight engineer working on the Shuttle Training Aircraft. He was selected as an astronaut in 1998.
Swanson’s first flight to space was aboard Atlantis for STS-117, which marked the 250th orbital human spaceflight. He served as Mission Specialist 2 and completed 2 spacewalks, and operated both robotic arms. STS-117 delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) the second Starboard Truss segment (S3), which also included a set of solar arrays. STS-117 was the longest mission ever for Atlantis due to landing delays as a result of bad weather.
Swanson’s second flight was STS-119 aboard Discovery where he served as Mission Specialist 2 and Lead Spacewalker. This flight delivered and assembled the fourth set of Starboard Truss segment (S6) for ISS. Swanson completed 2 spacewalks on this flight.
Swanson’s third and final spaceflight was Expedition 39/40. He launched to the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-12M March 25, 2014 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Swanson served as the ISS Commander for Expedition 40. He landed back in Kazakhstan on Sept. 11, 2014. He performed many scientific experiments while onboard and also performed one spacewalk to replace a broken computer.