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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This website is kept for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.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 September 19, 1957, in Lowell, Massachusetts. Raised by his paternal grandparents, Henry and Mae Linnehan. Single. He enjoys various sports, outdoor activities and natural history. His sister, Colleen, resides in Nevada.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Pelham High School, Pelham, New Hampshire, in 1975. Graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1980 with a bachelor of science degree in Animal Sciences with a minor in Microbiology. Received the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985.

SPECIAL HONORS: Navy Group Achievement Award, Navy Commendation Medal, two NASA Space Flight Medals (1996, 1998), NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (1999), AVMA President’s Award, The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Award, and The University of New Hampshire Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Richard Linnehan will perform his delicate and complicated Hubble servicing tasks with the skill of a surgeon. That's because he is a surgeon-a veterinarian, to be exact. With a Bachelor of Science degree in animal sciences and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, Linnehan's specialty is exotic animals. (Hubble certainly qualifies as his most exotic surgical patient.) .

After graduating from veterinary school, Linnehan entered private practice. Later, he was later accepted to a 2-year joint internship in zoo animal medicine and comparative pathology at the Baltimore Zoo and The Johns Hopkins University. After completing his internship, he was commissioned as a Captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and served at the Naval Ocean Systems Center, San Diego, California, as chief clinical veterinarian for the US Navy's Marine Mammal Program. In 1992, he was selected by NASA to begin astronaut training. He is a veteran of two spaceflights and has logged more than 787 hours in space.

Linnehan first flew as a mission specialist in 1996 on STS-78, the Life Sciences and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS) mission. The longest Space Shuttle flight to date, this 17-day mission included studies sponsored by ten nations and five space agencies. It was the first mission to combine both a full microgravity studies agenda and a comprehensive life sciences payload.

In 1998, he served as the payload commander on the STS-90 Neurolab mission, his second Spacelab mission. This 16-day flight measured the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system. The seven-person crew served as both experiment subjects and operators for 26 individual life science experiments focusing on the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system. His crewmates included Scott Altman, who joins him again as Mission Commander on STS-109.