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Mark Neil Brown
Born November 18, 1951(1951-11-18) (age 70)
Place of birth Valparaiso, Indiana
Rank Colonel, USAF

Mark Neil Brown (born November 18, 1951 in Valparaiso, Indiana) is an engineer, retired Colonel in the United States Air Force and former NASA astronaut.


  • 1969: Graduated from Valparaiso High School, Valparaiso, Indiana
  • 1973: Received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University
  • 1980: Received a master of science degree in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology

Special honors[]


Brown received his pilot wings at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, in 1974. He was then assigned to the 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan, where he flew both T-33 and F-106 aircraft. In 1979 Brown was transferred to the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and received his master of science degree in astronautical engineering in 1980.

NASA experience[]

Brown was assigned to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center since 1980. Assigned as an engineer in the Flight Activities Section, he participated in the development of contingency procedures for use aboard the Space Shuttle and served as an attitude and pointing officer. Brown supported STS flights 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 41-C in the Flight Activity Officer/Staff Support Room of the Mission Control Center.

Selected by NASA in May 1984, Brown became an astronaut in June 1985, and qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. In December 1985, he was assigned to the crew of STS-61-N, a Department of Defense mission which was subsequently canceled due to the Challenger disaster. During 1986 and 1987, he served as an astronaut member of the solid rocket booster redesign team. In February 1988 Brown was assigned to a new flight crew. He flew on STS-28 (August 8-August 13, 1989), following which he served as astronaut member on the Space Station Freedom Program. He next flew on STS-48 (September 12-September 18, 1991). With the completion of his second mission, Brown has logged over 249 hours in space.

On his first space flight, Brown served as a mission specialist on the crew of STS-28. The Orbiter Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 8, 1989. The mission carried Department of Defense payloads and a number of secondary payloads. After 80 orbits of the Earth, this five-day mission concluded with a dry lakebed landing on Runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base, California on August 13, 1989.

Brown next flew on the crew of STS-48 aboard the Orbiter Discovery which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on September 12, 1991. This was a five-day mission during which the crew deployed the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) which is designed to provide scientists with their first complete data set on the upper atmosphere's chemistry, winds and energy inputs. The crew also conducted numerous secondary experiments ranging from growing protein crystals to studying how fluids and structures react in weightlessness. The mission was accomplished in 81 orbits of the Earth and concluded with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 18, 1991.

Brown left NASA in July 1993 and retired from the U.S. Air Force to head up the Space Division office of General Research Corporation in Dayton, Ohio.

Personal data[]

Married to the former Lynne A. Anderson of River Grove, Illinois; they have two daughters.

External links[]

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