John M. Fabian

John McCreary Fabian (born January 28, 1939) is a former NASA astronaut, Air Force officer, and director who flew two space shuttle missions and on the development of the shuttle's robotic arm. He later led the Air Force's space operations.

John M. Fabian
Fabian nasa
BornJanuary 28, 1939 (age 80)
Other namesJohn McCreary Fabian
Alma materWSU, B.S. 1962
AFIT, M.S. 1964
UW, Sc.D. 1974
OccupationPilot, engineer
Space career
NASA Astronaut
RankUS-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, USAF
Time in space
13d 04h 02m
Selection1978 NASA Group 8
MissionsSTS-7, STS-51-G
Mission insignia
Sts-7-patch.png Sts-51-g-patch.png

Personal data

Born January 28, 1939, in Goose Creek, Texas, but considers Pullman, Washington, to be his hometown. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America where he achieved its second highest rank, Life Scout. Recreational interests include politics and environmental advocacy.[1]

In 1998 he retired to Port Ludlow, Washington, bordered by Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains on northwest Washington's Olympic Peninsula. In 2002 he helped form the Hood Canal Coalition, an environmental watchdog group opposing a new industrial harbor complex and a gravel mine's shipping operation slated to transverse the Hood Canal Bridge.[1]

From 2000 to 2011, he participated in the "Lunch with an Astronaut" and "Astronaut Encounter" programs at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.


Graduated from Pullman High School, Pullman, Washington, in 1957; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University in 1962; a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology in 1964; and a Doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington in 1974. While at Washington State University, he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. Member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Tau engineering honor societies.[1] WSU Commander of Arnold Air Society 1960–61.

Military experience

Fabian, an Air Force ROTC student at Washington State University, was commissioned upon graduation in 1962. After an assignment at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, he was assigned as an aeronautics engineer in the service engineering division, San Antonio Air Material Area, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. He then attended flight training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, and subsequently spent 5 years as a KC-135 co-pilot, aircraft commander, and instructor pilot at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan. He saw action in Southeast Asia, flying 90 combat missions. Following additional graduate work at the University of Washington, he served 4 years on the faculty of the Aeronautics Department at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado where he was a tenured associate professor.

He has logged 4,000 hours flying time, including 3,400 hours in jet aircraft.[1]

NASA experience

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978, and became an astronaut in August 1979. During the following years, he worked extensively on satellite deployment and retrieval activities, including development of the Canadian Remote Manipulator System. A veteran of two space flights, he has logged over 316 hours in space. He served as a mission specialist on STS-7 (June 18-June 24, 1983) and STS-51G (June 17–24, 1985). He was scheduled to fly next in May 1986 on STS-61G, and was also in training for space shuttle life science mission SLS-1. Fabian instead left NASA on January 1, 1986 to become Director of Space, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Headquarters USAF.[1]

Colonel Fabian retired from the USAF in June 1987 and joined Analytic Services, a non-profit aerospace public service research institute in Arlington, Virginia, where he retired as President and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. He currently lives in Port Ludlow, Washington. Fabian continues to serve as an independent consultant and public speaker on the NASA space program and environmental stewardship.

Space flight experience

Fabian first flew as a mission specialist on STS-7, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18, 1983. This was the second flight for the Orbiter Challenger and for the first mission with a 5-person crew. During the mission, the crew deployed satellites for Canada (ANIK C-2) and Indonesia (PALAPA B-1); operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to perform the first deployment and retrieval exercise with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01); conducted the first formation flying of the Orbiter with a free-flying satellite (SPAS-01); carried and operated the first U.S./German cooperative materials science payload (OSTA-2): and operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) and the Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiments, in addition to activating seven Getaway Specials, Mission duration was 147 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24, 1983.[2]

Fabian was the first person to deploy and subsequently retrieve a free-flying satellite. In doing so, he used the Canadian-built robotic arm to release and later recapture the SPAS-01 satellite.

On his second mission, Fabian flew on STS-51-G which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 17, 1985, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24, 1985, after completing approximately 170 hours of space flight. This international crew deployed communications satellites for Mexico (Morelos), the Arab League (Arabsat), and the United States (AT&T Telstar). They used the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to deploy and later retrieve the SPARTAN satellite which performed 17 hours of x-ray astronomy experiments while separated from the Space Shuttle. In addition, the crew activated the Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (ADSF), six Getaway Specials, participated in biomedical experiments, and conducted a laser tracking experiment as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative.[1]


Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Fellow, American Astronautical Society; President, Association of Space Explorers - USA; Member, International Academy of Astronautics; Vice President, International Astronautical Federation; Served 4 terms as International Co-President of the Association of Space Explorers. Trustee, Washington State University Foundation. Trustee, Phi Sigma Kappa Foundation. Served with the Presidential Commission Investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident and the Presidential Commission on Design of the International Space Station. Member of NASA Advisory Committees on the Joint US-Russian Space Shuttle - MIR Program and the International Space Station Operation and Utilization. Member, Advisory Committee, Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Founder of Hood Canal Coalition, a statewide organization of nearly 4000 members with the support of more than 60 other, independent environmental, political, recreational, tribal, and community groups. The coalition opposes the industrialization of Hood Canal and the development of a harbor complex intended to load strip-mined gravel onto ships the size of aircraft carriers and barges the size of football fields. Major national, state, regional and local elected officials support the work of the coalition. See

Knight or Chevalier, Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, Nuits-Saint-Georges, France, 1989. Honorary Commander, Commanderie du Bontemps, Pulliac France, 1985.


John Fabian
Fabian at the Kennedy Space Center in 2010

Air Force Astronaut Wings; NASA Space Flight Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster; NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal; Fédération Aéronautique Internationale - Komarov Diploma; Defense Superior Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal; French Legion of Honor, Saudi Arabian King Abdul Aziz Medal; Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal; Washington State University Sloan Engineering Award (1961); Air Training Command Academic Training Award (1966); Squadron Officer School Commandant's Trophy (1968); Squadron Officer School Chief of Staff Award (1968); Washington State University Distinguished Alumnus Award (1983); University of Washington Distinguished Alumnus Award, Aeronautics and Astronautics, (1984); Washington State Service to Humanity Award (1983); Distinguished Alumnus Award (1985); Medallion of Merit (1987); Phi Sigma Kappa; Leonov Medal (Association of Space Explorers)(1992); Magnuson Puget Sound Legacy Award (People for Puget Sound)(2010). Distinguished Member, Association of Space Explorers (2010); Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award, Port Townsend Marine Science Center (2017).


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Astronaut Biography: John M Fabian". NASA. December 1993. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
  2. ^ Seattle Post-Intelligencer (March 25, 2004). "Seeing Earth from on high made ex-astronaut want to save it". Retrieved May 31, 2008.

External links

Air Force Institute of Technology

The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) is a graduate school and provider of professional and continuing education for the United States Armed Forces and is part of the United States Air Force. It is located in Ohio at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton. AFIT is a component of the Air University and Air Education and Training Command.

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is one of the three primary commissioning sources for officers in the United States Air Force, the other two being the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and Air Force Officer Training School (OTS). A subordinate command of the Air University within the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), AFROTC is aligned under the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. The Holm Center, formerly known as the Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools (AFOATS), retains direct responsibility for both AFROTC and OTS.

AFROTC is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the U.S. Air Force. AFROTC's stated mission is to produce quality leaders for the U.S. Air Force. AFROTC units are located on 145 college and university campuses with 1100+ additional institutions of higher learning participating in cross-town agreements that allow their students to attend AFROTC classes at a nearby "host" college or university. According to AFOATS HQ, in 2006, AFROTC commissioned 2,083 USAF Second Lieutenants, with AFROTC enrollment ranging from 23,605 in 1985 to 10,231 in 1993, and around 13,000 enrolled today.

AFROTC units at colleges and universities are called "detachments," and are headed by an active duty USAF officer in the rank of Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel who functions as both the Detachment Commander for USAF purposes and with the nominal title of professor of aerospace studies (PAS) within the institution's academic community. Most colleges and universities will designate the AFROTC detachment as the Department of Aerospace Studies. Depending on the detachment size, the PAS is typically assisted by one to four assistant professors of aerospace studies (APAS), also all active-duty USAF officers. Most APAS hold the rank of captain; however, some are also first lieutenants or majors. Approximately three USAF non-commissioned officers and one senior non-commissioned officer will typically provide military administrative support and are often augmented by one to two civilian staff support employees of the academic institution. Larger detachments may also have a Lieutenant Colonel serve as a vice commander.

Within AFROTC detachments, the students (referred to as "cadets") are organized into wings, groups, squadrons, and flights, mirroring the USAF functional wing structure. The AFROTC detachment's cadet wing or cadet group is separated into two divisions: the General Military Course (GMC) consisting of the first two years of training, and the Professional Officer Course (POC) consisting of the last two years of training. The AFROTC program is also divided into two training functions: the Academic Classroom Program (Aerospace Studies classes) and Cadet Activities (i.e., Leadership Laboratory, Physical Training, and other training).

Astronaut birthplaces by US state

This article lists the birthplaces of astronauts from the United States' space program and other space travelers born in the United States or holding American citizenship. Space travelers who did not work for NASA are indicated in italics.

Canceled Space Shuttle missions

During the Space Shuttle program, several missions were canceled. Many were canceled as a result of the Challenger and the Columbia disasters. Many early missions were canceled due to delays in the development of the shuttle. Others were canceled because of changes in payload and missions requirements.

January 28

January 28 is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 337 days remain until the end of the year (338 in leap years).

List of Phi Sigma Kappa brothers

This is a list of notable brothers of Phi Sigma Kappa men's collegiate fraternity, including those who were members of Phi Sigma Epsilon prior to the 1985 merger. See Talk page to review guidelines for inclusion.

List of University of Washington people

This page lists notable students, alumni and faculty members of the University of Washington.

List of human spaceflights, 1981–1990

This is a detailed list of human spaceflights from 1981 to 1990, spanning the end of the Soviet Union's Salyut space station program, the beginning of Mir, and the start of the US Space Shuttle program.

Red indicates fatalities.

Green indicates suborbital flights (including flights that failed to attain intended orbit).

List of people from Texas

The following are notable people who were either born, raised or have lived for a significant period of time in the U.S. state of Texas.

List of space travelers by nationality

The criteria for determining who has achieved human spaceflight vary. The FAI defines spaceflight as any flight over 100 kilometres (62 mi). In the United States, professional, military, and commercial astronauts who travel above an altitude of 80 kilometres (50 mi) are awarded astronaut wings. The majority of people who have flown into space have done so by entering Earth orbit. This list includes persons meeting all three criteria, in separate subdivisions.

The flags indicate the space traveler's nationality at the time of their flight or flights. In cases of dual citizenship, the space traveler is listed under their primary residence. A secondary list appended to the entry for the Soviet Union shows the birth countries of space travelers not born in Russia. A similar list after the entry for the United States shows the birth countries of space travelers who are or were citizens of the U.S. but were born elsewhere. Flags shown in the secondary lists are those in use at the time of the space travelers' birth.Names in italic are space travelers who are not part of any national astronaut program or astronaut corps (Toyohiro Akiyama, Helen Sharman, the Space Adventures customers and the sub-orbital SpaceShipOne pilots).

Except for the SpaceShipOne pilots, all of the space travellers have been crew or participants aboard flights launched by China, the Soviet Union/Russia or the United States.

List of spaceflight records

This is a list of spaceflight records. Most of these records relate to human spaceflights, but some unmanned and animal records are listed as well.

NASA Astronaut Group 8

NASA's Astronaut Group 8 was a group of 35 astronauts announced on January 16, 1978. It was the first selection in nine years of astronaut candidates since Group 7 in August 1969, and also included NASA's first female astronauts. Due to the long delay between the last Apollo lunar mission in 1972 and the first flight of the Space Shuttle in 1981, few astronauts from the older groups stayed with NASA. Since then, a new group of candidates has been selected roughly every two years.In Astronaut Group 8, two different astronaut groups were formed: pilots and mission specialists. (With shuttle classes, NASA stopped sending non-pilots for one year of UPT.) Of the 35 selected, six were women, three were male African Americans, and one was a male Asian American.

Pullman, Washington

Pullman () is the largest city in Whitman County, located in southeastern Washington state within the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. The population was 29,799 at the 2010 census, and estimated to have reached 31,682 in 2014. Originally incorporated as Three Forks, the city was renamed after industrialist George Pullman.

Pullman is noted as a vastly fertile agricultural area known for its many miles of rolling hills and the production of wheat and legumes. It is home to Washington State University, a public research land-grant university, and the international headquarters of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Pullman is eight miles (13 km) from Moscow, Idaho, home to the University of Idaho, and is served by the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport.

In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek selected Pullman as the "Best Place to Raise Kids" in Washington. Factors included affordability, safety, a family-friendly lifestyle, the quality of Pullman High School, the presence of Washington State University, and the natural environment of the area.

Pullman High School

Pullman High School is a public secondary school in the city of Pullman, Washington, the home of Washington State University.

It is the only traditional public high school in the city and in the Pullman School District (#267). A four-year high school, it accepts students from Lincoln Middle School in Pullman (fed by three public elementary schools: Franklin Elementary School, Sunnyside Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School) and other schools around the area in different towns. Pullman High School's mascot is the greyhound and the school colors are blue and gray.


STS-51-G was the 18th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the fifth flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. The seven-day mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 17, 1985, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24. Sultan Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was on board as a payload specialist; Al Saud became the first Arab, the first Muslim, and the first member of a royal family to fly into space. It was also the first Space Shuttle mission which flew without at least one astronaut from the pre-Shuttle era among its crew.


STS-61-G was a United States Space Shuttle mission planned to launch on May 20, 1986, using Atlantis. The main objective of this mission was to launch the Galileo spacecraft toward Jupiter using the Centaur-G upper stage. It was canceled after the Challenger disaster.


STS-7 was NASA's seventh Space Shuttle mission, and the second mission for the Space Shuttle Challenger. During the mission, Challenger deployed several satellites into orbit. The shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center on June 18, 1983, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on June 24. STS-7 was notable for carrying Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut.

Washington State University

Washington State University (WSU or Wazzu) is a public research university in Pullman, Washington. Founded in 1890, WSU is a land-grant university with programs in a broad range of academic disciplines. With an undergraduate enrollment of 24,470 and a total enrollment of 29,686, it is the second largest institution of higher education in Washington state behind the University of Washington.The university also operates campuses across Washington known as WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, and WSU Vancouver, all founded in 1989. In 2012, WSU launched an Internet-based Global Campus, which includes its online degree program, WSU Online. In 2015, WSU expanded to a sixth campus, known as WSU Everett. These campuses award primarily bachelor's and master's degrees. Freshmen and sophomores were first admitted to the Vancouver campus in 2006 and to the Tri-Cities campus in 2007. Enrollment for the four campuses and WSU Online exceeds 29,686 students. This includes 1,751 international students.WSU's athletic teams are called the Cougars and the school colors are crimson and gray. Six men's and nine women's varsity teams compete in NCAA Division I in the Pac-12 Conference. Both men's and women's indoor track teams compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Mission specialists

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