Robert L. Curbeam, Jr.,
(Lieutenant Commander, USN)
Source: Johnson Space Center
Born March 5, 1962, in Baltimore, Maryland. Married to the
former Julie Dawn Lein; two children. He enjoys weightlifting, biking, and family
Graduated from Woodlawn High School, Baltimore County,
Maryland, 1980. Bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the United States
Naval Academy, 1984. Master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval
Postgraduate School, 1990. Degree of aeronautical & astronautical engineering from the
Naval Postgraduate School, 1991.
Member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and the
Association of Old Crows.
Fighter Wing One Radar Intercept Officer of the Year for
1989, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Best Developmental Thesis (DT-II) Award, two Navy
Commendation Medals, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Armed Forces
Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Navy Battle Efficiency Award,
and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, Curbeam
commenced Naval Flight Officer training in 1984. In 1986 he reported to Fighter Squadron
11 (VF-11) and made overseas deployments to the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas, and the
Arctic and Indian Oceans on board the USS Forrestal (CV-59). During his tour in VF-11, he
also attended Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). Upon completion of Test Pilot School
in December 1991, he reported to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate where he was the
project officer for the F-14A/B Air-to-Ground Weapons Separation Program. In August 1994,
he returned to the U.S. Naval Academy as an instructor in the Weapons and Systems
Selected by NASA in December 1994, Curbeam reported to the
Johnson Space Center in March 1995. He completed a year of training and evaluation and was
assigned to the Computer Support Branch of the Astronaut Office. In 1997 he flew as a
mission specialist on STS-85. In completing his first flight Curbeam logged 284 hours and
27 minutes in space. He presently serves as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) responsible
for relaying all voice communication between Mission Control and crews aboard the Space
Shuttle. Curbeam is assigned to STS-100 and is currently in training preparing for the
spacewalks required for on-orbit construction of the International Space Station. STS-100
is targeted for launch in December 1999.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE:
(August 7-19, 1997) was a 12-day mission during which the crew deployed and retrieved the
CRISTA-SPAS payload, operated the Japanese Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) robotic
arm, studied changes in the Earth's atmosphere and tested technology destined for use on
the future International Space Station. The mission was accomplished in 189 Earth orbits,
traveling 4.7 million miles in 284 hours and 27 minutes.