NASA Astronauts

Brent W. Jett

Class of 1981
Captain, USN, Ret.
NASA Astronaut
Johnson Space Center


Brent W. Jett, Jr. (left) and William M. Shepherd -NASA Photo

Astronauts Brent W. Jett, Jr. (left) and William M. Shepherd participate in an old Navy tradition of ringing a bell to announce the arrival or departure of someone to a ship. The bell is mounted on the wall in the Unity node of the International Space Station (ISS). The bell-ringing took place shortly after an in-space reunion on STS-97 Flight Day 9. Shepherd, Expedition 1 mission commander, is a U.S. Navy captain; and Jett, STS-97 mission commander, is a U.S. Navy commander.

PERSONAL DATA: Born October 5, 1958, in Pontiac, Michigan. Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Married to Janet Leigh Lyon of Patuxent River, Maryland.

EDUCATION: Earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981; a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1989.

ORGANIZATIONS: Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Association of Naval Aviation, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, Association of Space Explorers.

SPECIAL HONORS: Graduated first of 976 in the Class of 1981 at U.S. Naval Academy; Distinguished Graduate U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 95. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Department of Defense Superior Service and Meritorious Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, three NASA Space Flight Medals, and various other service awards.

EXPERIENCE: Jett was designated a Naval Aviator in March 1983 and was assigned to Fighter Squadron (VF) 74, flying the F-14 Tomcat. His squadron made overseas deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-60). While assigned to VF-74, he was designated as an airwing qualified Landing Signal Officer (LSO) and also attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). Jett was selected for the Naval Postgraduate School - Test Pilot School Cooperative Education Program in 1987. After graduation from the Navy Test School in June 1989, he worked as a project test pilot at the Carrier Stability Department of the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate, Naval Air Test Center, flying the F-14A/B/D, T-45A, and A-7E. Jett returned to the operational Navy in September 1991 and was again assigned to VF-74, flying the F-14B aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-60).

He has logged over 5,000 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft and has more than 450 carrier landings.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in March 1992, Jett reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. In January 1996, Jett flew his first mission as the pilot of STS-72. A year later, he again served as pilot on STS-81. From June 1997 to February 1998, he served as NASA Director of Operations at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia. Jett then commanded two shuttle missions, STS-97 in November 2000 and STS-115 in September 2006, both station assembly flights. A veteran of four space missions, he has traveled more than 17 million miles and logged over 40 days in space. In July 2007, Jett retired from the Navy. From 2008 to 2011, he was Director, Flight Crew Operations, responsible for directing the day-to-day activities of the directorate, including the Astronaut Corps and aircraft operations at Ellington Field.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-72 Endeavour (January 11 to January 20, 1996) was a 9-day flight during which the crew retrieved the Space Flyer Unit satellite (launched from Japan 10-months earlier); deployed and retrieved the OAST-Flyer satellite, and conducted two spacewalks to demonstrate and evaluate techniques to be used in the assembly of the International Space Station.

STS-81 Atlantis (January 12 to January 22, 1997) was the fifth in a series of joint missions between the U.S. Space Shuttle and the Russian Space Station Mir and the second one involving an exchange of U.S. astronauts. In five days of docked operations, more than three tons of food, water, experiment equipment and samples were moved back and forth between the two spacecraft.

STS-97 Endeavour (November 30 to December 12, 2000) was the fifth American mission to build and enhance the capabilities of the International Space Station. STS-97 delivered the first set of U.S.-provided solar arrays and batteries as well as radiators to provide cooling. Three spacewalks were conducted to complete assembly operations while the arrays were attached and unfurled. A communications system for voice and telemetry was also installed.

STS-115 Atlantis (September 9 to September 21, 2006) successfully restarted assembly of the International Space Station. During the 12-day mission, the crew delivered and installed the P3/P4 power module and deployed its two sets of solar arrays. These solar arrays doubled the stationís electrical power generation capability and will eventually provide one quarter of the stationís power at assembly complete. This assembly mission required robotics operations using both robotic arms (station and shuttle) and three EVAs (spacewalks) while docked to the ISS.


Astronaut Photos and Biographies - Courtesy of NASA
Lucky Bag Photos- Courtesy of USNA Archives

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