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Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Lisa Nowak (NASA Photo JSC2005-E-20604)

Biographical Data

Lisa M. Nowak (Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born May 10, 1963, in Washington, D.C. Married to Richard T. Nowak of South Burlington, Vermont. They have three children. Lisa enjoys bicycling, running, skeet, sailing, gourmet cooking, rubber stamps, crossword puzzles and piano. As an undergraduate she competed on the track team. Her parents, Alfredo and Jane Caputo, reside in Rockville, Maryland.

EDUCATION: Graduated from C.W. Woodward High School, Rockville, Maryland, in 1981; received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985; a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering and a degree of aeronautical and astronautical engineer from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, both in 1992.

ORGANIZATIONS: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association; Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society.

AWARDS: Navy Commendation Medal; Navy Achievement Medal; various other service awards.

EXPERIENCE: Nowak received her commission from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1985, and reported to flight school after six months of temporary duty at Johnson Space Center. She earned her wings as a Naval Flight Officer in June 1987, followed by Electronic Warfare School at Corry Station, Florida, and initial A-7 training at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. She was assigned to Electronic Warfare Aggressor Squadron 34 at Point Mugu, California, where she flew EA-7L and ERA-3B aircraft, supporting the fleet in small and large-scale exercises with jamming and missile profiles. While assigned to the squadron, she qualified as Mission Commander and EW Lead. In 1992, Nowak completed two years of graduate studies at Monterey, and began working at the Systems Engineering Test Directorate at Patuxent River, Maryland. In 1993, she was selected for both Aerospace Engineering Duty and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. After graduation in June 1994, she stayed at Patuxent River working as an aircraft systems project officer at the Air Combat Environment Test and Evaluation Facility and at Strike Aircraft Test Squadron, flying the F/A-18 and EA-6B. Nowak was then assigned to the Naval Air Systems Command, working on acquisition of new systems for naval aircraft, when she was selected for the astronaut program.

Nowak has logged over 1,500 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft.

NASA EXPERIENCE: After receiving her commission Nowak was assigned temporary duty and from June to November 1985 she provided engineering support for the JSC’s Shuttle Training Aircraft Branch at Ellington, Texas. Selected by NASA in April 1996, Nowak reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, she qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. She was initially assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Operations Planning Branch. More recently she served in the Astronaut Office CAPCOM Branch, working in Mission Control as prime communicator with on-orbit crews. Nowak is assigned to the crew of STS-121, a mission that will deliver supplies and equipment to the International Space Station as well as test new flight procedures to increase shuttle safety. The mission is scheduled for launch in 2005.