KENNETH D. CAMERON (COLONEL, USMC, RET.) NASA ASTRONAUT (FORMER)
PERSONAL DATA: Born 1949, in Cleveland, Ohio. Married in 1973, he and his wife have two sons. He enjoys flying (CFI-SEL), athletics, woodworking, reading, shooting, motorcycle riding, amateur radio, and volunteer work as a youth soccer coach, Boy Scout leader, or board member for church day school or neighborhood community association.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Rocky River High School, Rocky River, Ohio, in 1967, and entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 1978, and a Master of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 1979. Graduated from U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in 1983. Completed numerous courses in Russian language and Russian space systems at MIT, JSC, and at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Moscow, Russia. Received a Master of Business Administration degree from Michigan State University in 2002.
SPECIAL HONORS: Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross (2), Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", NASA Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, NASA Space Flight Medals (3), Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnamese Meritorious Unit Citation, the Admiral Louis de Flores Award (MIT), C.S. Draper Laboratory Fellowship, Marine Corps Association Leadership Sword.
EXPERIENCE: Cameron was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1970 at Officer’s Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. After graduating from the Officer’s Basic Infantry Course and Vietnamese Language School, he was assigned to the Republic of Vietnam for a one-year tour of duty as an infantry platoon commander with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment and, later, with the Marine Security Guards at the U.S. Embassy, Saigon. Upon his return to the United States he served as Executive Officer, "I" Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He reported to Pensacola, Florida, in 1972 for flight training, receiving his Naval Aviator wings in 1973. He was then assigned to Marine Corps Attack Squadron 223, in Yuma, Arizona, flying A-4M Skyhawks. In 1976, Cameron was reassigned to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he participated in the Marine College Degree and Advanced Degree Programs. Upon graduation, he was assigned to flying duty for one year with Marine Aircraft Group 12 in Iwakuni, Japan. He was subsequently assigned to the Pacific Missile Test Center in 1980, and, in 1982, to the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Maryland. Following graduation in 1983, he was assigned as project officer and test pilot in the F/A-18, A-4, and OV-10 airplanes with the Systems Engineering Test Directorate at the Naval Air Test Center.
He has logged over 4,000 hours flying time in 48 different types of aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in May 1984, Cameron became an astronaut in June 1985. His technical assignments have included work on Tethered Satellite Payload, flight software testing in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL), launch support activities at Kennedy Space Center, and spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control for STS-28, 29,30, 33 & 34. Management assignments include: Section Chief, for astronaut software testing in SAIL; astronaut launch support activities; and Operations Assistant to the Hubble Repair Mission Director. In 1994, Cameron served as the first NASA Director of Operations in Star City, Moscow, where he worked with the Cosmonaut Training Center staff to set up a support system for astronaut operations and training in Star City, and received Russian training in Soyuz and Mir spacecraft systems, and flight training in Russian L-39 aircraft. A veteran of three space flights, Cameron has logged over 561 hours in space. He served as pilot on STS-37 (April 5-11, 1991), and was the spacecraft commander on STS-56 (April 9-17, 1993) and STS-74 (November 12-20, 1995).
Cameron flew his first mission as pilot on STS-37. This mission was launched on April 5, 1991, and featured the deployment of the Gamma Ray Observatory for the purpose of exploring gamma ray sources throughout the universe. Atlantis landed on April 11, 1991. On his second mission he was spacecraft commander on STS-56, carrying ATLAS-2. During this nine-day mission the crew of Discovery conducted atmospheric and solar studies in order to better understand the effect of solar activity on the Earth’s climate and environment, and deployed and retrieved the autonomous observatory Spartan. STS-56 launched on April 8, 1993, and landed at Kennedy Space Center on April 17, 1993. On his third mission, Cameron commanded Atlantis on STS-74, NASA’s second Space Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir, and the first mission to use the Shuttle to assemble a module and attach it to a Space Station. STS-74 launched on November 12, 1995, and landed at Kennedy Space Center on November 20, 1995.
Cameron left NASA on August 5, 1996 to join Hughes Training, Inc., a subsidiary of General Motors Corporation, as Executive Director of Houston Operations. In September of 1997, Cameron transferred to Saab Automobile, AB, in Sweden, as Vehicle Line Executive for the Saab 9-3 automobile. Upon return to the US, Cameron worked at the GM Technical Center, near Detroit, in positions in Purchasing and Research & Development.
Cameron returned to the space program in October 2003, taking a position as Principal Engineer in the NASA Engineering & Safety Center, based at the NASA Langley Research Center, in Hampton, Virginia.