Catherine Coleman

Catherine Coleman

Infobox Astronaut
name =Catherine Grace "Cady" Coleman

type =NASA Astronaut
nationality =American
date_birth =December 14, 1960
place_birth =Charleston, South Carolina
occupation =Chemist
rank =Colonel, USAF
selection =1992 NASA Group
time =20d 20h 43m
mission =STS-73, STS-93
insignia =|

Catherine Grace "Cady" Coleman (born December 14, 1960, in Charleston, South Carolina) is an officer in the United States Air Force and a NASA astronaut. She is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions.


In 1979-1980 she was an exchange student at Røyken upper secondary school in Norway. She received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983, as a member of the US Air Force ROTC. She was a member of the intercollegiate crew team and was a resident of Baker House.

Military career

After completing her regular education, she joined the Air Force as a second lieutenant while continuing her graduate work for a Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts. In 1988 she entered active duty at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a research chemist. During her work she also participated at the analysis of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) experiment launched with STS-41-C and retrieved with STS-32. In 1991 she received her doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

NASA career

She was selected by NASA in 1992 to become a mission specialist astronaut. She has taken part in two Space Shuttle missions. In 1995 she was a member of the STS-73 crew on the scientific mission USML-1 with experiments including biotechnology, combustion science and the physics of fluids. During the flight, she reported to Houston Mission Control that she had spotted an unidentified flying object. She also trained for the mission STS-83 to be the backup for Donald A. Thomas; however, as he recovered on time, she did not fly that mission. STS-93 was Coleman's second space flight in 1999. She was mission specialist in charge of placing the Chandra X-ray Observatory in orbit using the shuttle's robotic arm. [ [ NASA biography] ] [ [ Spacefacts biography of Catherine Coleman] ]

Coleman currently serves as chief of robotic arm operations and training for all Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. During mission STS-116, when a station solar panel array became stuck in mid-retraction, Coleman led the team responsible for devising its recovery. The solution involved using the station's robotic arm to deploy spacewalking astronauts who manually straightened affected elements of the array.


Coleman is married to glass artist Josh Simpson.


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