Beth Johnson (@planetarypan)
Veranika Klimovich ( @VeranikaSpace)
This week we are excited to welcome Colonel Mike Mullane to the Weekly Space Hangout. Mike was selected as a Mission Specialist in 1978 in the first group of Space Shuttle Astronauts. He completed three space missions aboard the Shuttles Discovery (STS-41D) and Atlantis (STS-27 & 36) before retiring from NASA and the Air Force in 1990.
Mike grew up during the space race and in the late 1950’s embarked on his own rocket experiments in the deserts near his home. In 1967, he graduated from West Point and was commissioned in the United States Air Force. As a Weapon Systems Operator aboard RF-4C Phantom aircraft, he completed 134 combat missions in Vietnam.
Mike holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and is also a graduate of the Air Force Flight Test Engineer School at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Mike was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame and is the recipient of many awards, including the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, and the NASA Space Flight Medal.
Since retiring from NASA, Colonel Mullane has written an award-winning children’s book, “Liftoff! An Astronaut’s Dream”, and a popular space-fact book, “Do Your Ears Pop In Space?” His memoir, “Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut”, has been reviewed in the New York Times and on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It was also featured on Barnes and Noble’s 2010 recommended summer reading list.
Mike has held a lifelong passion for mountain climbing, averaging nearly 500 miles per year of backpacking in the mountains of the West. Since age 60 he has summited Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro; the glaciered peak of Mt. Rainier; and forty of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks.
You can learn more about Mike by visiting his website at https://mikemullane.com/
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