Bruce E. Melnick

Bruce Edward Melnick (born December 5, 1949) is a retired American astronaut and United States Coast Guard officer. Following retirement from NASA and the Coast Guard, he entered the aerospace industry. He served as a vice president with the Boeing Co.'s Integrated Defense Systems group, in charge of Boeing's Florida operations at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Melnick retired in 2008 and currently resides on Merritt Island, Florida.

Bruce E. Melnick
Bruce E. Melnick.jpg
Born (1949-12-05) December 5, 1949 (age 73)
Other namesBruce Edward Melnick
Alma materGeorgia Tech
United States Coast Guard Academy, B.S. 1972
University of West Florida, M.S. 1975
OccupationCoast Guard
Space career
NASA Astronaut
RankUS-O5 insignia.svg Commander, USCG
Time in space
12d 23h 27m
Selection1987 NASA Group 12
MissionsSTS-41, STS-49
Mission insignia
Sts-41-patch.png Sts-49-patch.png

Early life and educationEdit

Melnick was born December 5, 1949, in New York City, New York, but considers Clearwater, Florida, to be his hometown. He graduated from Clearwater High School, Clearwater, Florida, in 1967. He attended Georgia Institute of Technology for a year, and then went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Engineering from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1972, and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Systems from the University of West Florida in 1975. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of West Florida on 28 April 2001.[1]

Coast Guard careerEdit

Melnick spent 20 years in the United States Coast Guard, rising to the rank of commander. His assignments included serving as operations officer and chief test pilot at the Coast Guard Aircraft Program Office in Grand Prairie, Texas. In that capacity, he conducted most of the developmental and all of the acceptance test flights for the HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, including sea trials, and wrote the HH-65 flight manual.

During his Coast Guard service, Melnick received numerous awards, including two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Secretary of Transportation Heroism Award.

In 1992, he received the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Distinguished Alumni Award. He logged over 5,000 hours flying time, predominantly in the HH-3F Pelican, HH-52 Sea Guard, HH-65 Dolphin, and T-38 Talon aircraft. Melnick retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and left NASA in July 1992.[1]

NASA careerEdit

Melnick was selected by NASA in 1987 and became an astronaut in August 1988 with the missions STS-41[2] and STS-49.[3] He was the first Coast Guard aviator to participate in the space program, and was the first Coast Guard aviator into space. Commander Melnick retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and left NASA in July 1992.[1]

Aerospace-industry careerEdit

Melnick is the vice president for Boeing Florida operations at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Melnick's organization, a part of the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems group, provides a variety of support services to Boeing programs in the state. Headquartered in Titusville, Florida, the organization has approximately 2,400 employees. Services provided by Boeing in Florida include engineering, facilities and maintenance support to NASA and the Department of Defense for the Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Delta rocket programs. Melnick is also responsible for the pursuit of new business for the company in Florida.

Melnick was formerly the Boeing Company vice president, also at the space center, for the payload ground operations contract with NASA, with 1,600 employees. The contract included all the engineering and facilities support and maintenance activities related to preparing spacecraft and/or payloads for the space shuttle missions prior to launch and after landing. The division also provided support to NASA and its contractors for the International Space Station hardware.

Prior to joining Boeing (McDonnell Douglas at the time), Melnick was vice president/director for shuttle engineering at United Space Alliance, formerly Lockheed Martin Space Operations, from 1994 to 1996. From 1992 to 1994, he was director of process improvement technology at Lockheed Space Operations Company.[1]



Boards of directors:

  • Astronaut Memorial Planetarium
  • Crosswinds Youth Services, Inc.
  • National Space Club
  • Florida Space Research Institute
  • Florida Space Authority
  • Economic Development Commission
  • Space Coast Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Board of governors:

Boards of advisors:


  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ a b c d Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (July 2010). "Bruce E. Melnick" (PDF). Biographical Data. Houston, Texas: NASA. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  2. ^ Ryba, Jeanne (18 February 2010). "STS-41". Mission Archives. NASA. Archived from the original on 6 May 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  3. ^ Ryba, Jeanne (2 April 2010). "STS-49". Mission Archives. NASA. Archived from the original on 6 May 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.