Rick Mastracchio is a NASA Astronaut, Mission Specialist, Flight Engineer and EVA Spacewalk Lead. He has flown missions on Space Shuttles Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour to the International Space Station where he executed numerous space walks to assemble the orbiting laboratory. His most recent mission was co-piloting a Russian Soyuz spacecraft leading to six months living and working on the station. During his time on-orbit he was involved with numerous micro-G research experiments such as Ants in Space, Antibiotic Effectiveness, Burning and Suppression, Satellite Controls, Capillary flow and many more.
Rick has extensive experience in the design, development, testing and operation of spacecraft guidance, navigation and control systems, propulsion systems, environmental control systems, mechanical systems, software, trajectory design and more for the Space Shuttle, Orion, Soyuz and Space Station. He has been involved with spacecraft flight test, real time flight operations and ground control operations for more than 20 years.
A native of Connecticut, Rick earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from the University of Connecticut, and master’s degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Houston.
Rick is an experienced public speaker who uses his space mission experiences to develop topics for industry and uses NASA’s missions to excite and educate students of all ages.
Feel free to ask Rick a question regarding his experiences designing and flying spacecraft or living and working in space.
npj Microgravity Community is a multidisciplinary forum in which to further research in the microgravity environment. This research is needed not only to develop advanced exploration technologies but also to take advantage of the unique aspects of microgravity environments in order to advance fundamental scientific understanding. It is a place for international collaboration, sharing knowledge and bringing about new research insights and opportunities. The community supports the aims of the npj Microgravity journal in providing a thorough understanding of the scientific impact and future of microgravity research.