Clayton Anderson
Clayton Conrad Anderson (born February 23, 1959 in Omaha
Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 20 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River...

, Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

 and a NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

. Launched on STS-117
- Crew Notes :The initial crew manifest before the Columbia accident was:Astronaut Mark Polansky was originally slated to pilot this mission, but was moved to STS-116, which he commanded...

, he replaced Sunita Williams
Sunita Williams
Sunita Williams is a United States Naval officer and a NASA astronaut. She was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and then joined Expedition 15...

 on June 10, 2007 as a member of the ISS Expedition 15
Expedition 15
Expedition 15 was the 15th expedition to the International Space Station . Four crew members participated in the expedition, although for most of the expedition's duration only three were on the station at any one time...



Graduated from Ashland-Greenwood High School, Ashland, Nebraska, 1977; received a bachelor of science degree (Cum Laude) in Physics from Hastings College
Hastings College
Hastings College is a private, undergraduate, four-year, residential liberal arts college in Hastings, Nebraska, USA.- History :The college was founded in 1882 by a group of men and women seeking to establish a Presbyterian college dedicated to high academic and cultural standards...

, Nebraska in 1981 and a master of science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University
Iowa State University
Iowa State University of Science and Technology, more commonly known as Iowa State University , is a public land-grant and space-grant research university located in Ames, Iowa, United States. Iowa State has produced astronauts, scientists, and Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, along with a host of...

 in 1983.


Southwest Basketball Officials Association; Former Men’s College Basketball Official: Red River Athletic, Southern Collegiate Athletic, Heart of Texas, Lone Star, and Texas/New Mexico Junior College Athletic Conferences; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); Johnson Space Center Employee Activities Association: Vice President of Athletics (1987–1992); Clear Lake Optimist Club Past President and Vice President. Alpha Chi National Scholastic Honor Society, Hastings College, Hastings Nebraska (1980–1981).

Awards and honors

  • Honorary Doctorate Degree from Hastings College
    Hastings College
    Hastings College is a private, undergraduate, four-year, residential liberal arts college in Hastings, Nebraska, USA.- History :The college was founded in 1882 by a group of men and women seeking to establish a Presbyterian college dedicated to high academic and cultural standards...

    , 2004;
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, National Council of Alpha Chi 2001;
  • NASA Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition (QASAR) Award 1998;
  • NCAA National Christian College Basketball Championships Official (1997, 1998);
  • JSC Certificate of Commendation (1993);
  • Outstanding Young Man of America (1981, 1985, 1987);
  • Bronco Award Winner, Hastings College (1981).
  • Given the key to the city by the mayor of Ashland (2007)
  • Given the honor of February 29 being Clay Anderson day in the state of Nebraska (2007)
  • Given the Outstanding Alumni Award of Hastings College on March 2, 2008.
  • Received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Iowa State University
    Iowa State University
    Iowa State University of Science and Technology, more commonly known as Iowa State University , is a public land-grant and space-grant research university located in Ames, Iowa, United States. Iowa State has produced astronauts, scientists, and Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, along with a host of...

     on April 11, 2008

NASA career

Anderson joined the Johnson Space Center in 1983 in the Mission Planning and Analysis Division where he performed rendezvous and proximity operations trajectory designs for early Space Shuttle and Space Station missions. In 1988 he moved to the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) as a Flight Design Manager leading the trajectory design team for the Galileo planetary mission (STS-34) while serving as the backup for the Magellan planetary mission (STS-31). In 1989, Anderson was chosen supervisor of the MOD Ascent Flight Design Section and following reorganization, the Flight Design Engineering Office of the Flight Design and Dynamics Division. In 1993 he was named the Chief of the Flight Design Branch. From 1996 until his selection as an astronaut candidate, Anderson held the post of Manager, Emergency Operations Center, NASA Johnson Space Center.

Astronaut duties

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August of that year. Training included orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) systems, physiological training, ground school to prepare for T-38
T-38 Talon
The Northrop T-38 Talon is a twin-engine supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2011 in air forces throughout the world....

 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques.

Prior to being assigned to a spaceflight Anderson served as the lead for the Enhanced Caution and Warning (ECW) System development effort within the Space Shuttle Cockpit Avionics Upgrade (CAU) Project. Previously, he was the Crew Support Astronaut for ISS Expedition 4
Expedition 4
Expedition 4 was the fourth expedition to the International Space Station.-Crew:-Mission parameters:*Perigee: 384 km*Apogee: 396 km*Inclination: 51.6°*Period: 92 min...

, providing ground support on technical issues in addition to supporting the crew families. Anderson also served as an ISS Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) and as the Astronaut Office crew representative for the Station's electrical power system. In November 2002, Anderson completed training in the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Skills program. He was back-up flight engineer for Expedition 12
Expedition 12
Expedition 12 was the 12th expedition to the International Space Station, launched from Kazakhstan using the Russian Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft...

, Expedition 13
Expedition 13
Expedition 13 was the 13th expedition to the International Space Station , and launched at 02:30 UTC on 30 March 2006. The expedition used the Soyuz TMA-8 spacecraft, which stayed at the station for the duration of the expedition for emergency evacuation....

 and Expedition 14
Expedition 14
Expedition 14 was the 14th expedition to the International Space Station . Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, and flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 18 September 2006, 04:09 UTC, aboard Soyuz TMA-9. They joined Thomas Reiter, who had arrived at the ISS on 6 July 2006...

 to the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...


In June 2003, Anderson served as an aquanaut
An Aquanaut is any individual who remains underwater, exposed to the ambient pressure, long enough to come into equilibrium with his or her breathing media. Usually this is done in an underwater habitat on the seafloor for a period equal to or greater than 24 continuous hours without returning to...

 during the NEEMO 5 mission aboard the Aquarius
Aquarius (laboratory)
The NOAA Aquarius Reef Base is an underwater habitat located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, adjacent to Conch Reef. It is one of the few underwater research facilities in the world dedicated to science...

 underwater laboratory
Underwater habitat
Underwater habitats are underwater structures in which people can live for extended periods and carry out most of the basic human functions of a 24-hour day, such as working, resting, eating, attending to personal hygiene, and sleeping...

, living and working underwater for fourteen days.

He was a Mission Specialist on STS-131
STS-131 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station . launched on 5 April 2010 at 6:22 am from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A, and landed at 9:08 am on 20 April 2010 on runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility...

, launched in April 2010. The primary payload of this mission was a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module loaded with supplies and equipment for the International Space Station.

International Space Station

Anderson was a member of the Expedition 15 crew and spent 152 days on board the International Space Station. He launched to the station aboard Shuttle Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

 as Mission Specialist 5 for the STS-117 mission on June 8, 2007, and remained on board as a member of the Expedition 16
Expedition 16
Expedition 16 was the 16th expedition to the International Space Station .The first two crew members, Yuri Malenchenko and Peggy Whitson, launched on 10 October 2007, aboard Soyuz TMA-11, and were joined by spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, the first Malaysian in space.Expedition 15...

 crew before returning to earth aboard Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery is one of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle program of NASA, the space agency of the United States, and was operational from its maiden flight, STS-41-D on August 30, 1984, until its final landing during STS-133 on March 9, 2011...

on mission STS-120
-Crew notes:As commander of STS-120, Pamela Melroy became the second woman to command a space shuttle mission. Additionally, the Expedition 16 crew that received STS-120 was commanded by Peggy Whitson, the first female ISS commander...

 on November 7, 2007. On return his official title was Mission Specialist 5.

Anderson continued a tradition aboard the International Space Station, started by Michael Lopez-Alegria
Michael Lopez-Alegria
Michael Eladio "LA" López-Alegría b. May 30, 1958, is a Spanish-American astronaut; a veteran of three Space Shuttle missions and one International Space Station mission...

, of conducting daily "trivia" contests with mission control team members on the ground. During Alegria's seven month stay on the station he would routinely call down movie quotes and challenge the team members to determine the movie the quote was from. Towards the end of his mission he changed to music trivia playing a portion of a song and challenging the team to complete the line. Anderson has taken this tradition and put his own personal twist on it, using the "Book of Answers: The New York Public Library
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is the largest public library in North America and is one of the United States' most significant research libraries...

 Telephone Reference Service's Most Unusual and Entertaining Questions". Anderson often played song clips for the ground control team, or specific individuals, most notably when he played the song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams, is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, bassist, producer, actor and photographer. Adams has won dozens of awards and nominations, including 20 Juno Awards among 56 nominations. He has also received 15 Grammy Award nominations including a win for Best Song Written...

 for his wife on her birthday.


Anderson was born in Omaha, but considers Ashland, Nebraska
Ashland, Nebraska
Ashland is a city in Saunders County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 2,262 at the 2000 census.- History :Ashland is located at the site of a low-water limestone ledge along the bottom of Salt Creek, an otherwise mud-bottomed stream that was a formidable obstacle for wagon trains on the...

 to be his hometown. Married to Susan Jane Anderson (née Harreld) of Elkhart, Indiana
Elkhart, Indiana
Elkhart is a city in Elkhart County, Indiana, United States. The city is located east of South Bend, northwest of Fort Wayne, east of Chicago, and north of Indianapolis...

. They have two children; a son, Clayton “Cole” and a daughter, Sutton Marie. His mother, Alice J. Anderson, died in December 2007, shortly after his return to earth. His father, John T. Anderson, is deceased.

Like many of the other astronauts and cosmonauts he is a licensed amateur radio operator having passed the technician class license exam in 2001 and was issued the call sign KD5PLA by the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 on August 13, 2001.
During his stay on the ISS in September 2007, he used one of the two amateur radio stations onboard to talk with school children.

External links

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