Created By The Mercury 7 Astronauts
Kent V. Rominger (Captain, USN, Ret.) was selected by NASA to become an astronaut in 1992. A veteran of five space flights, he has logged more than 1,600 hours in space.
Rominger first launched as Pilot of Columbia on October 20, 1995. STS-73 was the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, and numerous scientific experiments.
Rominger returned to space aboard Columbia once more as Pilot of STS-80. The mission launched November 19, 1996 in order to deploy and retrieve the Wake Shield Facility and ORFEUS satellites.
STS-85 Discovery, Rominger’s third mission as Pilot, launched August 7, 1997. The crew deployed and retrieved the CRISTA-SPAS satellite, operated the Japanese Manipulator Flight Demonstration robotic arm, studied changes in the Earth’s atmosphere and tested technology destined for use on the future International Space Station.
Rominger’s first mission as Commander was STS-96 Discovery, which launched on May 27, 1999. This ten-day mission had the crew delivering four tons of logistics and supplies to the International Space Station in preparation for the arrival of the first crew to live on the station. This necessitated the first docking of a space shuttle to the ISS. During training, Rominger helped discover the ISS orientation maneuver resulting in significant lateral translation of the ISS. He helped optimize the maneuver to save hundreds of pounds of propellants.
During his final mission, STS-100 Endeavour, which launched April 19, 2001, Rominger commanded a diverse international crew, representing the United States, Russia, Canada, and Italy. Together they installed the Canadian-built Robotic Arm and Rafaello Logistics Module to the ISS. Endeavour was docked eight days on the most complex robotics flight in the history of the space shuttle program.
During his time at NASA, Rominger served in the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch, as Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations, and as Chief of the Astronaut Office from 2002 to 2006. He retired from NASA in 2006 to accept a position with ATK Launch Systems.
Rominger was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 29, 2015.