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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center

Astrophysics Science Division | Sciences and Exploration

This website is kept for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.

PERSONAL DATA: Born in Chicago, Illinois. Married to the former Carol E. Schiff. They have two children. John enjoys mountaineering, flying, sailing, bicycling, and music. His father, Ernest A. Grunsfeld III, resides in Highland Park, Illinois. Carol’s parents, David and Ruth Schiff, reside in Highland Park, Illinois.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Highland Park High School, Highland Park, Illinois, in 1976; received a bachelor of science degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980; a master of science degree and a doctor of philosophy degree in physics from the University of Chicago in 1984 and 1988, respectively.

SPECIAL HONORS: WW.D. Grainger Fellow in Experimental Physics, 1988-89. NASA Graduate Student Research Fellow, 1985-87. NASA Space Flight Medals (1995, 1997, 1999). NASA Exceptional Service Medals (1997, 1998). Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Chicago.

Payload Commander John Grunsfeld is no stranger to Hubble. This high-energy astrophysicist is a veteran of three flights, including the 1999 Hubble servicing mission, when he performed two spacewalks. Now, as STS-109 Payload Commander, he will lead the team of spacewalkers who will upgrade Hubble.

With an extensive career in academia, Grunsfeld's research includes x-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, high-energy cosmic ray studies, and development of new detectors and instrumentation. He has studied binary pulsars and energetic x-ray and gamma-ray sources using the NASA Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, x-ray astronomy satellites, radio telescopes, and optical telescopes.

A veteran of three space flights, STS-67, STS-81 and STS-103, Grunsfeld has logged more than 835 hours in space. His first flight, STS-67, was the second flight of the Astro observatory, a unique complement of three telescopes. In this record setting 16-day mission, Grunsfeld and his crewmates conducted astronomical observations around the clock. His next mission, STS-81, was the fifth to dock with Russia's Space Station Mir, and the second to exchange U.S. astronauts.

Grunsfeld's most recent flight, STS-103, was an 8-day servicing mission to Hubble (SM3A). He and his spacewalking crewmates successfully installed new instruments and upgraded Hubble's systems. During this 370-mile high service call, Grunsfeld performed two spacewalks totaling 16 hours and 23 minutes.