C CLAYTON C. ‘Clay’ ANDERSON – the first NEBRASKA Astronaut
*** The second ornament is NOW available ***
Clay approved the design, while on his STS-131 Mission
OTHER PHOTOS of Clay’s return to Ashland and NE
Clay speaking to the guests at Willow Point Gallery – June 18 2010
with grateful acknowledgment, photo by Omaha World Herald (17 JUN 2010)
click above ^ ^ ^ to see Clay’s email message
CLAYTON ANDERSON – the first NEBRASKA Astronaut
to begin the STS-131 mission – April 5, 2010. Image credit Scott Andrews
Clay Anderson, addressing the press, at a news conference following the successful mission of STS-131 and the Discovery shuttle
TUESDAY, APRIL 20 2010
- Clayton C. “Clay” Anderson and STS-131 Crew
- RETURN from their Mission! * Discovery Succesfully Returns From Space
Launch: 6:21 a.m. EDT – April 5, 2010
Landing: 9:08 a.m. EDT – April 20, 2010
Mission Number: STS-131
(131st space shuttle flight)
Launch Window: 10 minutes
Launch Pad: 39A
15 days, 2 hours, 47 minutes, 10 seconds
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Inclination/Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles
Primary Payload: 33rd station flight (19A), Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
The following is a reprint of the MON, April 26, 2010 interview with Clay By Suzi Nelson of the Ashland Gazette
Published: Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:10 AM CDT
LEAGUE CITY, Texas – Clay Anderson is still a little tired.
Two weeks in space can do that to a guy.
“I’m still a little whooped,” he said Monday night from his home outside of Houston.
The Ashland native recently completed his second mission in space,
with a picture-perfect landing on April 20 onboard the space shuttle Discovery.
Anderson was part of a seven-person crew that spent 15 days in space, much of it at the International Space Station,
where they were busy fortifying the space station with equipment.
They delivered new crew sleeping quarters and supplies.
It was Anderson’s second trip to space. In 2007, he spent five months onboard the space station.
Returning to his former home was thrilling. It felt like he’d never been gone.
“I felt very much at home when I got there,” he said.
Anderson got to not only visit his former home, but one of the Russian astronauts he had worked with three years ago, Oleg Kotov,
was also onboard. The two hugged and reminisced about old times, as they relaxed together for a few short hours.
“I didn’t get to spend as much time with him as I would have liked,” he said.
That’s because Anderson was busy. He and Rick Mastracchio conducted three spacewalks to install a new ammonia storage tank
for the station’s cooling system, replace a gyroscope for the navigation system and retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior.
The 20-plus hours Anderson accumulated during the spacewalks have put him at
No. 22 on the list of astronauts who have spent time outside of a spacecraft.
These spacewalks weren’t without their challenges. While the first and third were fine, issues arose on the second spacewalk,
but nothing a little teamwork and persistence couldn’t solve.
As Anderson and Mastracchio attempted to tighten bolts to attach the new ammonia tank to the station,
the “soft dock” mechanism failed to align properly.
“We couldn’t get the ammonia tank to go on,” Anderson said.
Bolts could not be tightened. Experts on the ground offered alternative solutions, including Anderson banging a tool against the tank.
That didn’t work. Eventually, the astronauts were directed to loosen the bolts.
As soon as they did, the troublesome soft dock slipped into place as Anderson uttered, “Come on baby.”
The astronauts then re-tightened the four bolts. The fourth was a little sticky,
but they ratcheted up the torque on the power tool and it eventually was tightened properly.
“Git ‘er done!” Anderson exclaimed as the project neared completion.
Many Nebraskans know that phrase from the comedian Larry the Cable Guy. Anderson talked to Larry (aka Dan Whitney)
before the mission and promised he’d find a time and place to use Whitney’s signature phrase while in space.
“I thought it was very appropriate,” Anderson said.
Anderson also found appropriate times to don Husker gear in and out of the spacecraft.
Many photos taken on the shuttle and station show him with Husker shirts and hats on, including one shot
of the shuttle taken by the station crew where Anderson can be seen in the windows.
Anderson even found a place for a Husker “N” during his spacewalks.
He requested a blank page on his checklist, which is located on his wrist like a quarterback’s playlist.
ALWAYS A HUSKER: Clay Anderson takes part in one of three spacewalks during the recently completed STS-131 mission.
The Ashland native included the Husker “N” in the spacewalk checklist on his sleeve to show where his loyalties lie. (Photo Courtesy of NASA)
On that blank page, he glued a big red “N” that is visible in at least one photograph.
The launch and landing were new for Anderson, even though he’d gone through these experiences before.
“I think I was more aware of what was going on, more prepared,” he said. “I tried to take in as many sensations as I could this time, so I could cement it in my brain.”
His harness was a bit tight for the launch, causing some discomfort, however.
“This one was a little tight on my chest,” he said.
Once they were successfully launched, it was Anderson’s job to get out of his harness and start preparations so work could begin.
He and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki turned on the lights, got the communications system set up and completed other tasks quickly so they and the rest of the crew could get out of the orange flight suits.
Work began right away and the astronauts ended up putting in a 17-hour work day.
The landing proved to be eventful, given that they made three attempts in two days that were thwarted by weather.
Each time, the crew had to get suited up and strapped in, then wait about 90 minutes before learning if they could land.
By the fourth one, Anderson was confident it would be the one.
“I said, ‘We’re going home today, I can feel it in my bones,’” he recalled.
He was right, and the crew came home on a sunny Florida morning with their families right there on the runway as they made their final descent.
“I saw all of our families waving,” he said.
He had to wait a few hours before he could actually hug his family, though.
It takes nearly 30 minutes to get the astronauts
out of the shuttle, then relax for a bit and don their blue flightsuits.
A short press conference followed, then they were transported to a building where they eventually
saw their families for a few minutes before showering and undergoing physicals.
Later that day, Anderson was reunited with wife Sue and children Sutton and Cole.
They were taken to a condo NASA had set up for them on the beach.
“We felt the breeze, watched the waves,” Anderson said.
A short nap for Anderson was included, then his sister Lorie Hartzell and her husband, Phil,
joined them for pizza and champagne.
“It was a really relaxing evening,” he said.
The next day, the crew and their families flew back to Houston, where a welcome home ceremony took place.
The family visited their favorite Mexican restaurant that evening.
A day off followed where Anderson and his wife worked in the yard and ran errands.
By Friday, it was back to work with debriefings and meetings.
The crew got a chance to make recommendations to NASA, and Anderson’s included “getting rid of the soft docks,” he said.
Next up for Anderson will be more debriefings.
The schedule of public appearances will kick off in early May, wrapping up in mid-July.
He anticipates most of his events will be in the Midwest, and is sure he’ll make it back to Ashland more than once.
“I’m sure I’ll be home to Ashland and Nebraska a few times,” he said.
Then it will be decision time for Anderson and his family.
NASA will have a position for him, and he will have to decide if he wants to take it, or if it is time to move on.
If he moves on, there are many options.
“I’d like to write a book,” he said.
Right now, he’s not sure what the future holds for him, and for that matter, what the future holds for NASA, given the president’s new directives.
Whatever it is, it will be a family decision.
“Sue and I will assess what we need to do,” he said.
Until then, Anderson is taking time to look back on his latest accomplishments.
“I want to bask in the glory of coming home safely and spend some time with my family,” he said.
We again wish to gratefully acknowledge the reprinted article above, compiled from Suzi Nelson’s APR 26th interview with Clay Anderson,
and published in the ASHLAND GAZETTE on April 29, 2010
photos and news updates courtesy of www.NASA.gov
STS-131 is the 33rd shuttle mission to the station.
photo above courtesy of www.NASA.gov
PURPOSE OF MISSION
STS-131 will be delivering experiment racks to the International Space Station.
The experiment racks – the window observational research facility and the muscle atrophy research and exercise system rack – are pretty much exactly what they sound like.
The window observational research facility is designed to beef up the work that astronauts are able to do looking out the window of the Destiny laboratory by adding cameras, multispectral and hyperspectral scanners, camcorders and sensors.
With those instruments, the crew will be able to study global climates, land and sea formations and crop weather damage like never before.
Meanwhile, the muscle atrophy research and exercise system rack – or MARES –;will give the crew members a way to assess the strength of their muscles while in space.
Click on the BLACK > below for the Movie PREVIEW:
“HOMEMADE ASTRONAUT: The Clay Anderson Story”
NET Television presented the documentary
“Homemade Astronaut” which first ‘aired ‘
Sun eve – June 7th – 6:00 pm on NET1/NET-HD.
The DVD edition of Homemade Astronaut – The Clay Anderson Story is available at:
NET NEBRASKA STORE < LINK
We are grateful to Nebraska’s NET1/TNET-HD TV for producing and providing this important historical DVD
LEARN MORE about here > NET NEBRASKA TELEVISION
CLAY served aboard the International Space Station for 152 days in 2007
After months in space he reflected on his life’s blessings:
“I have missed you all deeply,”
Anderson wrote to his family in his final journal entry from orbit.
“There has not been a day that’s gone by where I have not thought of you,
prayed for you and smiled because of you.
Clay Anderson likes to take photographs.
His favorite subject? The Earth.
The Ashland native has about 30,000 digital photos of our blue marble planet he took during his 152-day stay on International Space Station in 2007, his first trip into space.
Nebraska’s only astronaut is training for another space launch, this one set for March 18.
NOTE: actual Launch was delayed – successfully deployed April 5th – see above
But he won’t “get anywhere close ” to shooting 30,000 photographs.
Anderson, who grew up and spent his early school years in Ashland, will be a mission specialist on the space shuttle Discovery. A second trip into space is something he didn’t expect after he returned from his first mission.
“Given that the shuttle program would be winding down, I didn’t know if I would be given the opportunity to fly again, and there were a lot of young astronauts coming … and they deserve an opportunity to fly as well,” Anderson said Monday (15FEB2010).
NASA has the 51-year-old down for three spacewalks to replace an 1,800-pound ammonia tank assembly, retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior and switch out a rate gyro assembly, an electronic box that helps the station maintain its position in space.
The training for the spacewalks has been intense.
Astronauts spend about five hours in a deep swimming pool (which simulates zero gravity)for every hour they are going to walk in space.
One of the spacewalks will require Anderson to ride on the end of the shuttle’s robotic arm, something he did during his first mission, when he jettisoned a refrigerator-sized object into space.
Anderson is eager to return to the orbital outpost. In his training journal entries, he calls it his second home and its crew his second family.
And he’s looking forward to seeing his “space brother” Oleg Kotov, his Russian crewmate on board the station in 2007.
“When you spend five months with a guy living in a can, you get to be pretty close,” Anderson said.
“We had some wonderful times together. We laughed a lot.
We talked about our families. We discussed the state of the world. We just had a wonderful time.”
Anderson’s mother, Alice, traveled to Florida to watch her son’s first launch.
She died in December 2007, shortly after he returned. His father, John, died in 1984.
“She and Dad will be both watching and they will have a pretty good view I think … of course, I would prefer to have them there in person,” Anderson said.
“They live inside me, and I carry their memory with me wherever I go.
They helped make me the person I am today, and so for that I’m eternally grateful.”
Anderson’s family was anxious about his first launch. Two shuttles have exploded in the past.
They’re handling it better this time around, he said.
His 13-year-old son, Cole, is proud of his father, Anderson said, even though “he’s been there and done that.”
The article above is reprinted with grateful acknowledgement to the Lincoln Journal Star – Lincoln NE By ALGIS J. LAUKAITIS / Lincoln Journal Star | Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Clayton C. “Clay” Anderson, NASA Astronaut
EDUCATION:Graduated from Ashland-Greenwood High School, Ashland, Nebraska, 1977; received a bachelor of science degree (Cum Laude) in Physics from Hastings College, Nebraska in 1981 and a master of science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University in 1983.
ORGANIZATIONS:Southwest Basketball Officials Association; Former Men’s College Basketball Official: Red River Athletic, Southern Collegiate Athletic, Heart of Texas, Lone Star, and Texas/New Mexico Junior College Athletic Conferences; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); Johnson Space Center Employee Activities Association: Vice President of Athletics (1987-1992); Clear Lake Optimist Club Past President and Vice President. Alpha Chi National Scholastic Honor Society, Hastings College, Hastings Nebraska (1980-1981).
SPECIAL HONORS: Honorary Doctorate Degree from Hastings College, 2004;
Given the honor of February 29th being Clay Anderson day in the State of Nebraska (2008);
Given the Outstanding Alumni Award of Hastings College on March 2, 2008;
Received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Iowa State University on April 11, 2008
NASA EXPERIENCE: Anderson joined the Johnson Space Center in 1983 in the Mission Planning and Analysis Division where he performed rendezvous and proximity operations trajectory designs for early Space Shuttle and Space Station missions. In 1988 he moved to the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) as a Flight Design Manager leading the trajectory design team for the Galileo planetary mission (STS-34) while serving as the backup for the Magellan planetary mission (STS-31). In 1989, Anderson was chosen supervisor of the MOD Ascent Flight Design Section and following reorganization, the Flight Design Engineering Office of the Flight Design and Dynamics Division. In 1993 he was named the Chief of the Flight Design Branch. From 1996 until his selection Anderson held the post of Manager, Emergency Operations Center, NASA Johnson Space Center. Selected as a mission specialist by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August of that year. Training included orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) systems, physiological training, ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques.
Prior to being assigned to a space flight Anderson served as the lead for the Enhanced Caution and Warning (ECW) System development effort within the Space Shuttle Cockpit Avionics Upgrade (CAU) Project. Previously, he was the Crew Support Astronaut for ISS Expedition 4, providing ground support on technical issues in addition to supporting the crew families. Anderson also served as an ISS Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) and as the Astronaut Office crew representative for the Station’s electrical power system. In November of 2002, Anderson completed training in the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Skills program. He also served as back-up Flight Engineer for Expeditions 12, 13 and 14 to the Station. He recently completed his first space flight and has logged 152 days in space and over 18 EVA hours in 3 spacewalks.SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE:
Above is a JANUARY 2008 update
We are grateful to the NASA website for the information contained herein.
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
Biographical Data Clayton Anderson, Astronaut
Remembering Alice J. Anderson, Clay’s “Mom”
on the 13th of December 2007.
May we remember to keep Alice & her family in our prayers
Message prepared by Pastor Reverend J. Milton Bryarly, Intentional Interim Pastor – First Christian Church
Epilogue: “I Miss You, Mom….”
On November 7, 2007, the Space Shuttle Discovery glided to a picture perfect landing at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) near Cape Canaveral, Florida. I was strapped in to the center seat on the Space Shuttle’s middeck, resting comfortably on my back as she had executed her first role reversal, an energy reducing maneuver, directly over the state of Nebraska on her way to Florida. My 152-day journey in space that began with a thunderous launch onboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis on what would have been my father’s 77th birthday, had come to an end as we gently touched down on Runway 15 and rolled to a stop directly on the runway centerline. That monumental day marked not only the completion of 151 days, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 14 seconds for me in space, but the 15th wedding anniversary for Susan and me.
Just a mere 12 hours later, I was gingerly navigating the confined space of my private room in the astronaut crew quarters (ACQ) facility at KSC to enjoy my first hot shower in over five months! After spending 45 minutes with the warm water pelting my head, shoulders and arms, I slowly dressed myself in my NASA astronaut flight suit feeling like I weighed every single bit of my 195 pounds fully realizing I was back in the gripping confines of the Earth’s gravity! Having grunted and groaned, stretched and tugged to get my flight boots on and properly tied, I carefully rose from my chair and eventually emerged from my room to begin a slow, methodical and “wall-aided” walk down the hallway.
Image to right: Mrs. Alice J. Anderson, the mother of astronaut Clay Anderson, Expedition 15 flight engineer, tours the turf of the Kennedy Space Center, site of the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis Photo credit: NASA/Allan DuPont
I have now been back on terra firma, our home planet Earth, for about 3 months. In NASA terms we would call that “return plus 3 months” or “R + 90 days.” I have been pronounced by my flight surgeon as “back to normal” physically by virtue of the fact that I successfully completed my physical rehabilitation in the 6th week.
Expedition 15/16 Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson returned to Earth from the space station
The image below (courtesy NASA), is of the touch-down of shuttle Discovery, bringing Clay home
The time after landing is just as busy, maybe more so, than the time I was in space. I have attended numerous debriefing sessions with management, operators, flight directors, engineers, payload designers, educators…just about everybody you can think of. In these sessions we discussed what went right on the mission, what went wrong and how we might all improve for the future, including more Space Station increments and the efforts to take humans back to the moon and on to Mars. In addition, I have continued to exercise faithfully for about 2.5 hours every day even though the official time period of rehabilitation has expired. I have reunited with my family and many of our friends, and yes, I have had that medium rare, T-bone steak (corn fed Nebraska beef!) and baked potato…a couple of times over!
I even had the opportunity to travel with my wife and family. First, we all attended the Fiesta Bowl festivities in Phoenix, Arizona, including a ride in the parade with the crew of STS-118 and then, my wife and I enjoyed an international event with the crew of STS-120 as we jetted to Italy for a whirlwind twelve-day trip. Italy was highlighted by visits to the Italian Space Agency and the Ferrari factory, an appearance on an Italian variety TV show, a trip to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a stroll through the ruins of the Roman Forum and Coliseum and a meeting with the Italian President and an opportunity to shake hands with the Pope! It was fast and furious, but an awesome adventure nonetheless! I believe that one of the most important aspects of the post flight period is that I have the opportunity to travel and share my stories and experiences with as many people as possible. This will begin in earnest at the end of February and will continue through most of May. I am especially excited about returning back to Nebraska and the Midwest to convey my excitement over the wonders of space travel to those folks who helped shape my life. I look forward to seeing more of my family members and friends and enlightening them on such topics as “going to the bathroom in space” and “launching candy toward video camera lenses!”
We are grateful to the NASA website for the information contained herein.
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
RE: Clayton Anderson, Astronaut