Kennedy Biographies

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Donald R. McMonagle
Manager, Launch Integration Space Shuttle Program

Donald R. McMonagle (Retired Colonel, USAF) became the Manager, Launch Integration, at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, effective August 15, 1997. In this capacity he is responsible for final Shuttle preparation, launch execution, and return of the orbiter to KSC following landings at any location other than KSC. He is chair of the Mission Management Team, and is the final authority for launch decision. 

McMonagle was born on May 14, 1952, in Flint, Michigan, and graduated from Hamady High School, Flint, Michigan, in 1970. McMonagle received a Bachelor of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy in 1974 and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State University-Fresno in 1985. 

McMonagle completed pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base (AFB), Mississippi, in 1975. After F-4 training at Homestead AFB, Florida, he went on a 1-year tour of duty as an F-4 pilot at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. He returned from overseas to Holloman AFB, New Mexico, in 1977. In 1979, McMonagle was assigned to Luke AFB, Arizona, as an F-15 instructor pilot. In 1981, he entered the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California, and was the outstanding graduate in his class. From 1982 to 1985, McMonagle was the operations officer and a project test pilot for the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration F-16 aircraft. After attending the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from 1985 to 1986, he was assigned as the operations officer of the 6513th Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. McMonagle has over 5,000 hours of flying experience in a variety of aircraft, primarily the T-38, F- 4, F-15, and F-16. 

McMonagle was selected as an astronaut by NASA in June 1987. A veteran of three space flights,
McMonagle has logged over 605 hours in space. McMonagle flew as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on Department of Defense mission STS-39 in April 1991. During this highly successful 8-day mission, the seven-man crew deployed, operated, and retrieved a remotely-controlled spacecraft and conducted several science experiments to include research of both natural and induced phenomena in the Earth's atmosphere. In January 1993, McMonagle served as pilot on STS-54 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The 6-day mission featured the deployment of a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), and the collection of information about celestial x-rays using a Diffuse X-Ray Spectrometer. McMonagle commanded a crew of six aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-66 Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-3 (ATLAS-3) 11-day mission in November 1994. In January 1996 McMonagle was assigned the task to establish a new Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) Project Office responsible for managing all NASA resources associated with space suits and tools used to conduct space walks in support of Space  Shuttle and the International Space Station. This role included responsibility for developing and implementing a plan for research and development of next generation space suits to support future human space exploration. 

McMonagle’s accomplishments have earned him many notable awards. He has received the Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Force Commendation Medals, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Liethen-Tittle Award (Top Graduate from USAF Test Pilot School), three NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. 

McMonagle is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Association of Graduates, U. S. Air Force Academy; and Association of Space Explorers. 

McMonagle is married to the former Janyce Morton of Phoenix, Arizona. They have two children and reside in Merritt Island, Florida. 

October 1999

Biograhies - Current Employees