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Steven Roy Swanson (born December 3, 1960 in Syracuse, New York) is an American Engineer and a retired NASA astronaut. He is married and has three children. He has received numerous awards and honors. These include the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and the JSC Certificate of Accommodation and many others. Prior to becoming a NASA astronaut, Swanson worked for GTE in Phoenix, Arizona, as a software engineer. Swanson has flown two shuttle flights, STS-117 and STS-119, and one Soyuz flight, TMA-12M. All of the flights were to the International Space Station. He has logged over 195 days in space and completed five spacewalks totaling 28 hours and 5 minutes. Swanson has also served in other roles at NASA, such as a CAPCOM for both International Space Station and Space Shuttle missions.

Steven Swanson
Steven swanson v2.jpg
Swanson, September 2006
Steven Ray Swanson

(1960-12-03) December 3, 1960 (age 59)
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Time in space
195d 20h 47min
Selection1998 NASA Group
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
27 hours, 58 minutes
MissionsSTS-117, STS-119, Soyuz TMA-12M (Expedition 39/40)
Mission insignia
STS-117 patch new2.svg STS-119 Patch.svg Soyuz-TMA-12M-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 39 Patch.svg ISS Expedition 40 Patch.png

Early yearsEdit

Although born in Syracuse, New York, Swanson considers Steamboat Springs, Colorado to be his home. He graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 1979, and went on to the University of Colorado to receive a bachelor's degree in engineering physics in 1983. In 1986, he received a master of applied science in computer systems from Florida Atlantic University.[1] He later received a doctorate in computer science from Texas A&M University in 1998.

NASA careerEdit

Swanson joined NASA in 1987 as a systems engineer and a flight engineer working on the Shuttle Training Aircraft. He was selected as an astronaut in May 1998. His first mission was STS-117, which launched June 2007. He was a mission specialist on this flight, also serving as flight engineer.[2] He also served as a mission specialist and lead spacewalker on STS-119. STS-119 launched March 15, 2009 and landed on March 28, 2009.[3] He launched to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 39/40 on March 25, 2014 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and returned to Earth on September 11, 2014.[4][5] NASA announced Swanson's retirement in August 2015, and he currently works with Boise State University as a distinguished educator in residence assisting with programs such as the NASA SUITS Program.[6]

Firefly and SerenityEdit

Steven Swanson is a Browncoat, or fan of Joss Whedon's Serenity and Firefly. He added copies of the movie and box set of the TV series to the ISS Movie Library on STS-117 in June 2007.[7]


  1. ^ "Florida Atlantic University Stories of U." Florida Atlantic University. FAU. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  2. ^ NASA (2007). "NASA Assigns Crew for Final Solar Array Delivery to Station". NASA. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2007.
  3. ^ "Colorado Astronaut To Fly On Next Space Shuttle Mission".[dead link]
  4. ^ Garcia, Mark (February 12, 2015). "Expedition 39". NASA. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  5. ^ "Station Trio Lands Completing 169 Days in Space". Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  6. ^ "Three-Time Spaceflight Astronaut Steven Swanson Retires From NASA". NASA. August 13, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  7. ^ "Breaking Atmo: Serenity to ISS on STS-117". Breaking Atmo.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Koichi Wakata
ISS Expedition Commander
13 May 2014 to 10 September 2014
Succeeded by
Maksim Surayev