Robert M. Walker Distinguished Lecture Series Public Lecture
Missions to the International Space Station
October 19, 2010
In 2008, Washington University Alumnus Bob Behnken traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) for 16 days, on a mission that delivered the first component of the Japanese Experimental Module and the Canadian robotic manipulator Dextre. In 2010 he again visited the ISS, this time for 14 days on a mission delivering the Node 3 habitation module and the seven windowed Cupola. During these missions he performed a total of six spacewalks, as well numerous other ISS assembly tasks. Bob presented details of NASA’s manned exploration activities and also discussed his experiences as a space shuttle crewmember and life on the ISS.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected as a mission specialist by NASA in July 2000, Behnken reported for training in August 2000. Following the completion of 18 months of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Branch supporting launch and landing activities at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Behnken flew STS-123 in March 2008 and STS-130 in February 2010, logging over 708 hours in space, including over 37 EVA hours during six space walks. During the fall of 2008, he trained as a mission specialist for STS-400, the rescue flight for the last Hubble Servicing Mission.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-123 Endeavour (March 11-26, 2008) was a night launch/landing, and the twenty-fifth Space Station assembly mission. Endeavour’s crew delivered the first component of JAXA’s Kibo Laboratory, and the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System, the Canadian-built Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator known as Dextre. Behnken served as Mission Specialist 1 for ascent and entry, performed three spacewalks, served as the IV (internal spacewalk coordinator), and operated both the space station robotic arm and the Dextre robot. The mission was accomplished in 250 orbits of the Earth, traveling 6,577,857 statute miles in 15 days, 18 hours, 10 minutes and 54 seconds.
STS-130 Endeavour (February 8-21, 2010) was a night launch/landing and the thirty-second Space Station assembly mission. Endeavour’s crew delivered and outfitted Node 3, also known as Tranquility, and the Cupola, a seven windowed portal on the Earth. Behnken served as Mission Specialist 4, operated the space station robotic arm, served as the spacewalking lead and performed three spacewalks. The mission was accomplished in 217 orbits of the Earth, traveling 5,738,991 statute miles in 13 days, 18 hours, 6 minutes and 24 seconds.