Johnson Space Center, Houston
Astronaut Jim Halsell Leaves NASA
Veteran astronaut Jim Halsell, a retired Air Force colonel, is leaving NASA to take a position in the aerospace industry. Selected by NASA as an astronaut in 1990, Halsell flew on five space shuttle missions, commanding three of them. He accumulated more than 1,250 hours in space.
His first spaceflights were as pilot of STS-65 in July 1994 and STS-74 in November 1995. He commanded shuttle mission STS-83 in April 1997, the Microgravity Science Laboratory Spacelab mission, a mission cut short due to problems with one of the shuttle's three fuel cell power generation units. He next commanded the mission that flew the same payload, STS-94 in July 1997, a science flight that focused on materials and combustion research in microgravity. His final mission was as commander of STS-101 in May 2000, a flight to the International Space Station that delivered and installed more than 5,000 pounds of equipment and supplies.
Halsell served as manager of space shuttle launch integration at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., from 2000 to 2002. He also served as the lead of the Space Shuttle Return to Flight Planning Team following the Columbia accident. Most recently, he served as the assistant director for aircraft operations in the Flight Crew Operations Directorate at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
“Jim is a tremendously talented person whose contributions and achievements both in space and on the ground have greatly benefited NASA. We’re very sorry to see him leave, but we’re glad that he will continue to contribute to the nation's space program in his new position," said Ellen Ochoa, Director of Flight Crew Operations.
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