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Brian Duffy (astronaut)

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Nationality  American
Time in space  40d 17h 37m
Spouse  Janet M. Helms
Rank  Colonel, USAF
Space time  40d 17h 37m

Other occupation  Test Pilot
Role  Astronaut
Status  Retired
Name  Brian Duffy
First space flight  STS-45
Brian Duffy (astronaut) wwwspacefactsdebiosportraitshiastronautsduf
Born  June 20, 1953 (age 62) Boston, Massachusetts (1953-06-20)
Alma mater  USAFA, B.S. 1975 USC, M.S. 1981
Space missions  STS-72, STS-92, STS-57, STS-45
Education  University of Southern California (1981), United States Air Force Academy (1975)
Similar People  Peter Wisoff, David Leestma, Pamela Melroy, William S McArthur, Leroy Chiao

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Brian Duffy (born June 20, 1953, Boston, Massachusetts) is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and a former NASA astronaut. He flew aboard four Space Shuttle missions.


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Graduated from Rockland High School, Rockland, Massachusetts in 1971. In 1975 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the United States Air Force Academy. In 1981 he received a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.

Military career

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Duffy graduated from the USAF Academy in 1975. He completed Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, in 1976, and was selected to fly the F-15. He was stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, until 1979.

Brian Duffy (astronaut) with veteran NASA astronaut Brian Duffy

At the end of 1979 he transferred to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. He flew F-15’s there until 1982 when he was selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Following graduation, he served as the Director of F-15 Tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

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He has logged over 5,000 hours of flight time in more than 25 different aircraft.

NASA career

Selected by NASA in June 1985, Duffy became an astronaut in July 1986. He participated in the development and testing of displays, flight crew procedures, and computer software to be used on Shuttle flights. He served as spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control during numerous Space Shuttle missions. He also served as Assistant Director (Technical) and as Deputy Director (Acting) of the Johnson Space Center. In this role he assisted the Center Director in the direction and management of JSC’s resources, functions, programs, and projects assigned to the Center. A veteran of four space flights, he has logged a total of 40 days, 17 hours, 34 minutes and 59 seconds in space.

Duffy retired from the Air Force and NASA in 2001. He was Vice President of Mission Operations and Support Services for the Lockheed Martin Corporation from 2004 to 2008. He is currently Vice President and JSC Program Manager for Exploration Systems at ATK.

Space flight experience

Duffy was the pilot on STS-45 Atlantis (March 24 to April 2, 1992), the first of the ATLAS series of missions to address the atmosphere and its interaction with the Sun.

He also was the pilot on STS-57 Endeavour (June 21 to July 1, 1993). Mission highlights included retrieval of the European Retrievable Carrier with the Shuttle’s robotic arm, a spacewalk by two crew members, and an assortment of experiments in the first flight of the Spacehab middeck augmentation module.

Duffy next commanded a six-man crew on STS-72 Endeavour (January 11–20, 1996). During the 9-day flight the crew retrieved the Space Flyer Unit (launched from Japan 10-months earlier), deployed and retrieved the OAST-Flyer, and conducted two spacewalks to demonstrate and evaluate techniques to be used in the assembly of the International Space Station.

Duffy commanded a crew of seven on STS-92 Discovery (October 11–24, 2000). During the 13-day flight, the seven member crew attached the Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 to the International Space Station using Discovery’s robotic arm and performed four space walks to configure these elements. This expansion of the ISS opened the door for future assembly missions and prepared the station for its first resident crew.


  • United States Air Force Academy Association of Graduates
  • Air Force Association
  • Association of Space Explorers
  • Awards and honors

  • Distinguished Graduate of USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training where he was awarded the UPT Flying Training Award
  • Distinguished Graduate of USAF Test Pilot School Class 82B
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Air Force Meritorious Service Medal
  • Air Force Commendation Medal
  • NASA Space Flight Medals (4)
  • Personal

    Brian Duffy is married to the former Janet M. Helms of West Lafayette, Indiana and they have two children.


    Brian Duffy (astronaut) Wikipedia