NASA Astronauts

Kenneth T. Ham

Class of 1987
Captain, USN
NASA Astronaut (Pilot)

PERSONAL DATA: Born December 12, 1964 in Plainfield, New Jersey. Two children, Ryan and Randy. He is married to Michelle Ham (née Lucas) from Hobart, Indiana. His parents, Ed and Marion Ham, reside in Brunswick, Maine. Recreational interests include running, weight lifting, all sports, general aviation, snow and water skiing, sky and scuba diving, and sailing.


Arthur L. Johnson Regional High School, Clark, New Jersey, 1983.
B.S., Aerospace Engineering, U.S. Naval Academy, 1987.
M.S., Aeronautical Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School, 1996.

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

SPECIAL HONORS: Distinguished Graduate U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

EXPERIENCE: Ken received his commission as an ensign in the United States Navy from the United States Naval Academy in May 1987. He was temporarily assigned to the NASA-JSC zero-g office at Ellington Field, Houston where he flew as a crew member on the NASA zero-g research aircraft. He was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1989 after completing flight training in the T-34C, T-2C, and TA-4J aircraft at NAS Corpus Christi and NAS Beeville, Texas. Ken reported to NAS Cecil Field, Florida for F/A-18 training and subsequent operational assignments with the Privateers of VFA-132 and the Gunslingers of VFA-105. He completed two deployments to the Mediterranean Sea including combat missions over North Iraq and Bosnia. During these tours, he served as an air wing strike leader, F/A-18 demonstration pilot, and night vision goggle instructor. Ken was selected for the Naval Postgraduate School/Test Pilot School cooperative program where he studied aeronautical engineering for 18 months in Monterey California followed by 12 months of test pilot training at NAS Patuxent River Maryland. He was selected as a team member of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Integrated Test Team as one of five Navy pilots responsible for developing a new fleet aircraft. This duty involved envelope expansion flight test in arrested landings, catapult assisted takeoffs, weapon separation, propulsion stability, performance, and general flying qualities. Ken was serving as the F/A-18E/F lead carrier suitability test pilot when he was selected for the astronaut program.

He has logged over 5,000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft and has over 300 shipboard, and 300 land based arrested landings.

Selected by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August 1998. Astronaut Candidate Training includes orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques. Initially assigned as Ascent/Entry, Orbit, and ISS CAPCOM, Ken completed his first space flight as pilot on STS-124 and logged over 13 days in space. He completed his second mission as commander of the STS-132 crew and has logged a total 25 days, 12 hours, 41 minutes and 9 seconds in space.

STS-124 Discovery (May 31 to June 14, 2008) was the 123rd Space Shuttle flight, and the 26th Shuttle flight to the International Space Station. STS-124 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and docked with the International Space Station on June 2 to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module-Pressurized Module (JEM-PM) and the Japanese Remote Manipulator System. STS-124 Shuttle astronauts delivered the 37-foot (11-meter) Kibo lab, added its rooftop storage room and performed three spacewalks to maintain the station and to prime the new Japanese module's robotic arm for work during nine days docked at the orbiting laboratory. STS-124 also delivered a new station crew member, Expedition 17 Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff. He replaced Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman, who returned to Earth with the STS-124 crew. The STS-124 mission was completed in 218 orbits, traveling 5,735.643 miles in 13 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes and 7 seconds.

STS-132 Atlantis (May 14-26, 2010) was the 132nd Space Shuttle flight, and the 32nd Shuttle flight to the International Space Station. STS-132 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and docked with the International Space Station on May 16 to deliver a Russian-built Mini Research Module (MRM1) to the International Space Station. STS-132 Shuttle astronauts performed three spacewalks in order to install a spare antenna and a stowage platform, to replace batteries on the P6 Truss that store solar energy, and to retrieve a power data grapple fixture for installation at a later date. They used Atlantis’ robotic arm to remove Rassvet (MRM1), from the Shuttle’s payload bay and hand it to the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, for installation on the Zarya module. The STS-132 mission was completed in 186 orbits, traveling 4,879,978 miles in 11 days, 18 hours, 28 minutes and 2 seconds.

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

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