Kevin P. Chilton

From Academic Kids

Kevin P. Chilton (b November 3, 1954) is a Major General in the USAF who was also a NASA astronaut.

Born in Los Angeles, California, he graduated from St. Bernard High School, Playa del Rey, California, in 1972. He received a BSc in engineering sciences from the USAF Academy in 1976, and a MSc in mechanical engineering from Columbia University on a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977.

Chilton received his commission from the USAF Academy in 1976. After receiving his wings at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona in 1978 he qualified in the RF-4 Phantom II and was assigned to the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan. From 1978 until 1980, he served as a combat-ready pilot and instructor pilot in the RF-4 in Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.

In 1981, he converted to the F-15 Eagle and was assigned to the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena Air Base as a squadron pilot. In 1982, Chilton attended the USAF Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and finished as the number one graduate for the year, receiving the Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award.

Subsequently assigned to the 9th and 7th Tactical Fighter Squadrons at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Chilton served as an F-15 squadron weapons officer, instructor pilot, and flight commander until 1984 when selected for the USAF Test Pilot School. He graduated number one in his class to win the Liethen-Tittle Award as the outstanding test pilot at the school.

Chilton was assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where he conducted weapons and systems tests in all models of the F-15 and F-4. While a member of the 3247th Test Squadron, Chilton served as squadron safety officer, as chief of test and evaluation, and as squadron operations officer.

In August 1987 Chilton was assigned to NASA and became an astronaut in August 1988, qualifying for assignment as a pilot on Space Shuttle flight crews.

Chilton held a variety of technical assignments. He served in the Mission Development Branch of the Astronaut Office in support of the Infrared Background Signature Survey (IBSS) satellite, and the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV) programs. He was the Astronaut Office T-38 safety officer, leader of the Astronaut Support Personnel team at the Kennedy Space Center and was lead spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for several shuttle flights.

Chilton also served as Deputy Program Manager for the early International Space Station program. A veteran of three space flights, Chilton logged over 704 hours in space. He was the pilot on STS-49 for the maiden voyage of Space Shuttle Endeavour (May 7-16, 1992), and STS-59 on the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL) mission (April 9-20, 1994). He commanded STS-76 on the third docking mission to the Russian space station Mir in 1996.

Among the numerous awards Chilton has won are NASA’s "Top Fox" Flight Safety Award, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Chilton left NASA in 1998 and as of 2001 was Deputy Director, Political Military Affairs for Asia, Pacific, and Middle East. Married with four children, he enjoys reading and all sports, and also plays guitar in a rock and roll band.

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