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Home > NASA Space Photos > 8x10 Portraits A-J
NASA Astronaut John Grunsfeld 8"x10" Full Colour Portrait
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Astronaut John Grunsfeld 8"x10" Full Colour Portrait

John M. Grunsfeld (Ph.D.)

PERSONAL DATA: Born in Chicago, Illinois. Married to the former Carol E. Schiff. They have two children. John enjoys mountaineering, flying, sailing, bicycling, and music. His father, Ernest A. Grunsfeld III, resides in Highland Park, Illinois. Carol’s parents, David and Ruth Schiff, reside in Highland Park, Illinois.

EDUCATION: 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.

ORGANIZATIONS: American Astronomical Society. American Alpine Club. Explorers Club, Experimental Aircraft Association. Aircraft Owners and Pilot Associatioopes including the NASA Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA EXPERIENCE: 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 and was assigned as the lead for portable computers for use in space. 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. Following STS-103, he served as Chief of the Extravehicular Activity Branch in the Astronaut Office. Following STS-109 Grunsfeld served as an instructor in the Extravehicular Activity Branch and Robotics Branch and worked on the exploration concepts, and technologies for use beyond low earth orbit in the Advanced Programs Branch. He also served as the NASA Chief Scientist detailed to NASA Headquarters in 2003-2004 where he helped develop the President’s Vision for Space Exploration. A veteran of five space flights, STS-67 (1995), STS-81 (1997), STS-103 (1999) STS-109 (2002) and STS-125 (2009), Dr. Grunsfeld has logged over 58 days in space, including 58 hours and 30 minutes of EVA in 8 space walks. Dr. Grunsfeld retired from NASA in December 2009 and currently serves as Deputy Director, Space Telescope Science Institute, in Baltimore, Maryland.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-67/Astro-2 Endeavour (March 2-18, 1995) was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. It was the second flight of the Astro observatory, a unique complement of three ultra-violet 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 Atlantis (January 12-22, 1997) was a 10-day mission, the 5th to dock with Russia’s Space Station Mir, and the 2nd 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. Grunsfeld served as the flight engineer on this flight. 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.

STS-103 Discovery (December 19-27, 1999) was an 8-day mission during which the crew successfully installed new gyroscopes and scientific instruments and upgraded systems on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Enhancing HST scientific capabilities required three space walks (EVA). Grunsfeld performed two space walks totaling 16 hours and 23 minutes. The STS-103 mission was accomplished in 120 Earth orbits, traveling 3.2 million miles in 191 hours and 11 minutes.

STS-109 Columbia (March 1-12, 2002) was the fourth Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission. The crew of STS-109 successfully upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope installing a new digital camera, a cooling system for the infrared camera, new solar arrays and a new power system. HST servicing and upgrades were accomplished by four crewmembers during a total of 5 EVAs in 5 consecutive days. Grunsfeld served as the Payload Commander on STS-109 in charge of the space walking activities and the Hubble payload. He also performed 3 space walks totaling 21 hours and 9 minutes, including the installation of the new Power Control Unit. STS-109 orbited the Earth 165 times, and covered 3.9 million miles in over 262 hours.

STS-125 Atlantis (May 11-24, 2009) was the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission. After 19 years on orbit the telescope got a major renovation which included the installation of a new wide field camera and a new ultraviolet telescope, new batteries, a guidance sensor, gyroscopes and other repairs. Grunsfeld served as the lead spacewalker in charge of the spacewalking and Hubble activites. He performed 3 of the 5 spacewalks on this flight totaling 20 hours, 58 minutes. For the first time on orbit 2 scientific instruments were surgically repaired in the telescope. The STS-125 mission was accomplished in 12 days, 21 hours, 37 minutes and 09 seconds, traveling 5,276,000 miles in 197 Earth orbits.