Join us April 6, 2019 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to honor veteran astronauts who will be selected to receive one of the highest honors in their industry.
James Buchli was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1978 and he left the active Astronaut Corps in 1992. He is known in the astronaut community for his pioneering in Extra-Vehicular Activity protocols and working with multiple customers involved with highly classified payloads.
James Buchli’s first flight was onboard Discovery for mission STS-51C in January of 1985 as a Mission Specialist, where he helped establish and execute untested security protocols required for handling highly classified payloads. During his second flight onboard Challenger for mission STS-61A, which followed in October 1985, he served as a Mission Specialist while embarked on German Spacelab as Red Team shift commander. His leadership during this mission proved and demonstrated the viability of non-pilot astronauts serving in the role of orbiter systems specialist. James Buchli’s third flight came in March 1989 onboard Discovery for mission STS-29. He served as a Mission Specialist and helped launch TDRS-4, film for the IMAX movie “Blue Planet”, and helped refine training during downtime that resulted in the crew and flight control teams being certified and mission ready. His final flight was onboard Discovery for mission STS-48 in September of 1991. He launched as a crew Mission Specialist and he served as flight engineer MS-2. As MS-2, he focused on refining unique flight rules for deployment of the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite, which, during its 14-year life, provided critical data for understanding climate change.
He is a 1963 graduate of Fargo Central High School, Fargo, North Dakota, and he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1967. He also holds an advanced Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering Systems from the University of West Florida (1975).
Colonel James Buchli was commissioned as a United States Marine Corps Officer upon his graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1967. He graduated from Basic Infantry Course and deployed to the Republic of Vietnam for a one-year tour of duty with the 9th Marine Regiment and 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. Upon his return from Vietnam he attended naval flight officer school in Pensacola, Florida. In 1977 he was assigned to the United States Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Maryland.
In total, James Buchli logs more than 4,200 hours of flying time and more than 21 days in space. He is Married to the former Jean Oliver of Pensacola, Florida and they have two grown children.