Anne Charlotte McClain (born June 7, 1979) is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, engineer and a NASA astronaut. Her call sign, "Annimal", dates back to her bruising rugby days;  she also uses the call sign in her Twitter handle, AstroAnnimal. She was the Flight Engineer for Expedition 58/59 to the International Space Station.
Anne Charlotte McClain
June 7, 1979
|Alma mater||U.S. Military Academy|
University of Bath
University of Bristol
|Awards||Bronze Star Medal|
|Rank||Lieutenant colonel, United States Army|
Time in space
|203 days 15 hours 16 minutes|
|Selection||2013 NASA Group|
Total EVA time
|Missions||Soyuz MS-11 (Expedition 58/59)|
Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, McClain wanted to become an astronaut at a young age. In 1997, McClain graduated from Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane. She graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and was commissioned an Army officer in 2002. She then attended the University of Bath, where she earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering in 2004, and the University of Bristol, where she earned a master's degree in international relations in 2005. Both master's degrees were completed through a Marshall Scholarship. Her work on unsteady aerodynamics and flow visualization of free-to-roll non-slender delta wings was later published through the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
McClain is an avid rugby player who has played in Women's Premiership, the top level of the sport in England, and for the United States women's national rugby union team, known as the Women's Eagles. While her U.S. Army commitments thwarted her international career in rugby and prevented her participation in the 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup, she participated at that level for a decade interrupted only by her deployment to Iraq, and credits the sport for her success in becoming an astronaut.
Following her studies, McClain qualified as a Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter pilot. She was deployed to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Cavalry Regiment at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. McClain rose through the ranks, starting with an Air Traffic Control Platoon Leader, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Platoon Leader, to Detachment Commander.
In 2009, McClain participated in Aviation Captain's Career Course and was then assigned to 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment at Fort Rucker as the battalion operations officer and OH-58D instructor. In May 2010, she was appointed Commander of C Troop, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment, responsible for the Army's initial entry training, instructor pilot training, and maintenance test pilot training in the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. She completed Command and General Staff College and the C-12 fixed wing multiengine qualification courses in 2011 and 2012.
She also served as a command squadron intelligence officer. McClain graduated from the Naval Test Pilot School in June 2013. In total, McClain has logged over 2,000 hours on various aircraft type including the Kiowa Warrior, the Beechcraft C-12 Huron, the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, and the Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota.
In June 2013, the same month as her graduation as a test pilot, McClain was selected by NASA as part of Astronaut Group 21, becoming the youngest astronaut on the NASA roster. She completed training in July 2015, making her available for future missions.
Expedition 58 / 59Edit
McClain successfully launched aboard Soyuz MS-11 to the International Space Station at 06.32 ET (11.32 GMT) on December 3, 2018 from the cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. She is the flight engineer of Expedition 58/59, where she replaced fellow NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who instead launched earlier with Expedition 56/57 due to personnel reassignments. McClain launched with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko. The launch was originally scheduled for December 20, 2018, but rescheduled to the earlier date after the failure of Soyuz MS-10 with Expedition 57/58 on October 11, 2018.
On March 22, 2019, McClain and Nick Hague performed their first Spacewalk to install the adapter plates while Dextre swaps the batteries between spacewalks. The extravehicular activity (EVA) lasted 6 hours and 39 minutes. They also removed debris from the Unity Module in preparation for the arrival of Cygnus NG-11 in April, stowing tools for the repair of the flex hose rotary coupler, and securing tiebacks on the solar array blanket boxes.
McClain was scheduled to perform a second EVA on March 29, with Christina Koch, which would have been the first all-female spacewalk, but spacesuit sizing issues resulted in this EVA being reassigned to Hague and Koch. McClain conducted a second spacewalk with Saint-Jacques on April 8.
McClain, Saint-Jacques and Kononenko returned to earth on board Soyuz MS-11 on June 24, 2019.
McClain is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal with Valor device, two additional Air Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two service stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and three Overseas Service Ribbons.
McClain is married, and has one son. On August 2017, she brought her then 4 year old son for the official NASA portrait session.
- Harwood, William (June 25, 2019). "3 station fliers complete "once-in-a-lifetime ride" home after 204-day stay in orbit". CBS News.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Whiting, Melanie (October 3, 2018). "Anne C. McClain (Col, U.S. Army) NASA Astronaut". nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
- Devadanam, Steven. "The New Women of NASA". Houstonia. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
- "Living the dream: Soldiers selected as NASA astronaut candidates - Soldiers Magazine". DODLive. Archived from the original on August 23, 2018. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Badass Lady Astronaut Candidates: Meet NASA's Class of 2013". AutoStraddle.com. September 3, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Patriot League - Patriot League 20th anniversary profiles: Anne McClain
- Brooks, Ashley (June 15, 2018). "From Eagle to Astronaut". usarugby.org. USA Rugby. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
- NASA Johnson (2018-11-30), Astronaut Moments: Anne McClain, retrieved 2018-12-01
- "Anne C. McClain" (PDF). nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
- "NASA's Newest Astronauts Complete Training". nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
- "Future Expeditions". nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
Expedition 58-59; Launch: Dec. 20, 2018; Crew: Oleg Kononenko, David Saint-Jacques, Anne McClain
- "Spacewalkers Complete Battery Swaps for Station Power Upgrades".
- CNN, Gianluca Mezzofiore. "2 astronauts are scheduled for the first all-female spacewalk in history". CNN. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
- Berger, Eric (March 26, 2019). "It's unfortunate NASA canceled the all-female EVA, but it's the right decision". Ars Technica.
- "Spacewalkers Swapping Places; Crew Studies Brain and Muscles – Space Station". blogs.nasa.gov. NASA.
- Harding, Pete; Bergin, Chris. "Following ISS battery upgrade, EVA-54 works on power systems". NASASpaceFlight.com.
- Dave Mosher (March 20, 2019). "Astronaut Anne McClain brought her 4-year-old son to a NASA photo shoot before flying to space, and the pictures will melt your heart". Business Insider.
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