World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Clayton Anderson

Clayton Anderson
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1959-02-23) February 23, 1959
Omaha, Nebraska
Other occupation
Time in space
166d 21h 10m
Selection 1998 NASA Group
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
38 hours, 28 minutes
Missions STS-117, Expedition 15/16, STS-120, STS-131
Mission insignia

Clayton Conrad Anderson (born February 23, 1959 in Omaha, Nebraska) is a NASA astronaut. Launched on STS-117, he replaced Sunita Williams on June 10, 2007 as a member of the ISS Expedition 15 crew.[1]


  • Education 1
  • NASA career 2
    • Astronaut duties 2.1
      • International Space Station 2.1.1
  • Personal 3
  • Organizations 4
  • Awards and honors 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Graduated from Ashland-Greenwood High School, Ashland, Nebraska, 1977; received a bachelor of science degree (cum laude) in physics at Hastings College, Nebraska, in 1981 and a master of science degree in aerospace engineering at Iowa State University in 1983.[2]

NASA career

Astronaut duties

Astronaut Clayton Anderson watches as a water bubble floats in front of him on the Discovery during the STS-131 mission.

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August of that year. Training included orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) systems, physiological training, ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques.[2]

Prior to being assigned to a spaceflight, Anderson served as the lead for the Enhanced Caution and Warning (ECW) System development effort within the Space Shuttle Cockpit Avionics Upgrade (CAU) Project. Previously, he was the Crew Support Astronaut for ISS Expedition 4, providing ground support on technical issues in addition to supporting the crew families. Anderson also served as an ISS Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) and as the Astronaut Office crew representative for the Station's electrical power system. In November 2002, Anderson completed training in the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Skills program. He was back-up flight engineer for Expedition 12, Expedition 13 and Expedition 14 to the International Space Station.

In June 2003, Anderson served as an aquanaut during the NEEMO 5 mission aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory, living and working underwater for fourteen days.[3] During a NEEMO 5 underwater EVA, Anderson cut his thumb with a knife. The wound was stitched up by hand surgeon and extreme medicine specialist Kenneth Kamler, who was observing the NEEMO project and dove to Aquarius to perform the procedure.[4]

He was a Mission Specialist on STS-131, launched in April 2010. The primary payload of this mission was a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module loaded with supplies and equipment for the International Space Station.

International Space Station

Anderson in the Destiny module of the International Space Station.

Anderson was a member of the Expedition 15 crew and spent 152 days on board the International Space Station. He launched to the station aboard Shuttle Atlantis as Mission Specialist 5 for the STS-117 mission on June 8, 2007,[5] and remained on board as a member of the Expedition 16 crew before returning to earth aboard Discovery on mission STS-120 on November 7, 2007. On return his official title was Mission Specialist 5.[6] Two of the photos that he took during his July and August 2007 spacewalks were listed on Popular Science's photo gallery of the best astronaut selfies.[7]

Anderson continued a tradition aboard the International Space Station, started by Michael Lopez-Alegria, of conducting daily "trivia" contests with mission control team members on the ground.[8] During Alegria's seven month stay on the station he would routinely call down movie quotes and challenge the team members to determine the movie the quote was from. Towards the end of his mission he changed to music trivia playing a portion of a song and challenging the team to complete the line. Anderson has taken this tradition and put his own personal twist on it, using the "Book of Answers: The New York Public Library Telephone Reference Service's Most Unusual and Entertaining Questions". Anderson often played song clips for the ground control team, or specific individuals, most notably when he played the song "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams for his wife on her birthday.


Anderson was born in Omaha, but considers Ashland, Nebraska to be his hometown. Married to Susan Jane Anderson (née Harreld) of Elkhart, Indiana. They have two children; a son, Clayton “Cole” and a daughter, Sutton Marie. His mother, Alice J. Anderson, died in December 2007, shortly after his return to earth. His father, John T. Anderson, is deceased.

Like many of the other astronauts and cosmonauts he is a licensed amateur radio operator having passed the technician class license exam in 2001 and was issued the call sign KD5PLA by the Federal Communications Commission on August 13, 2001.[9] During his stay on the ISS in September 2007, he used one of the two amateur radio stations on board to talk with school children.[10]

Anderson is the first and only astronaut from Nebraska and was widely reported in news media as the astronaut rejected fifteen times by NASA before being accepted in 1998. Anderson eventually retired from NASA in January 2013 after serving fifteen years and is now in education.[11]


Southwest Basketball Officials Association; Former Men’s College Basketball Official: Red River Athletic, Southern Collegiate Athletic, Heart of Texas, Lone Star, and Texas/New Mexico Junior College Athletic Conferences; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); Johnson Space Center Employee Activities Association: Vice President of Athletics (1987–1992); Clear Lake Optimist Club Past President and Vice President. Alpha Chi National Scholastic Honor Society, Hastings College, Hastings Nebraska (1980–1981).[2] American Legion Cornhusker Boys State Alumni

Awards and honors

  • Honorary Doctorate Degree from Hastings College, 2004;
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, National Council of Alpha Chi 2001;
  • NASA Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition (QASAR) Award 1998;
  • NCAA National Christian College Basketball Championships Official (1997, 1998);
  • JSC Certificate of Commendation (1993);
  • Outstanding Young Man of America (1981, 1985, 1987);
  • Bronco Award Winner, Hastings College (1981).
  • Given the key to the city by the mayor of Ashland (2007)
  • Given the honor of February 29 being Clay Anderson day in the state of Nebraska (2007)
  • Given the Outstanding Alumni Award of Hastings College on March 2, 2008.
  • Received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Iowa State University on April 11, 2008
  • Initiated into Tau Beta Pi as an Eminent Engineer at the 108th TBP National Convention on November 2, 2013 held at Iowa State University.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ NASA. "International Space Station Expedition 15". NASA. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  2. ^ a b c NASA. "Clayton Anderson Biography". NASA. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  3. ^ NASA (March 21, 2006). "NEEMO History". NASA. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  4. ^  
  5. ^ NASA (2007-06-10). "STS-117 Mission Status Report". NASA. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  6. ^ NASA. "International Space Station Expedition 15 Crew". NASA. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  7. ^ "Best Astronaut Selfies". Popular Science Magazine. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Malik, Tariq (2007-06-16). "Star Trek Beams Down from ISS". Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  9. ^ KD5PLA
  10. ^ for information on ARISS - Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.
  11. ^ GIANG, VIVIAN. "Aerospace Engineer Was Rejected By NASA 15 Times Before Finally Going To Space". 

External links

  • Clay Anderson on Twitter
  • Clayton Anderson biography at NASA
  • Spacefacts biography of Clayton Anderson
  • ISS Training Journals: Clayton Anderson
  • ISS In-Flight Journals: Clayton Anderson
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.