Live online chat with Rich Clifford, Deputy Program Manager for the Space Shuttle Program, Space Exploration, at the Boeing Company and former NASA astronaut.
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2009
8:30 - 9:30 AM Alaska Time
9:30 - 10:30 AM Pacific Time
10:30 - 11:30 AM Mountain Time
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Central Time
12:30 - 1:30 PM Eastern Time
Chat Host Rich Clifford's Biography:
Currently, Michael Richard "Rich" Clifford works as the Deputy Program Manager for the Space Shuttle Program, Space Exploration, at the Boeing Company. Prior to joining Boeing in January 1997, Clifford served as a NASA astronaut. He flew on the crew of STS-53, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. During this mission he was responsible for operating multiple experiments which included the Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment and the Battlefield Laser Acquisition Sensor Test. Next Clifford flew aboard Endeavour on the STS-59 Space Radar Laboratory mission. His final flight was STS-76 Atlantis, the third docking mission to the Russian space station Mir. Clifford performed a six-hour spacewalk, the first while docked to an orbiting space station. During the spacewalk he mounted experiment packages on the Mir docking module to detect and assess debris and contamination in a space station environment.
Clifford received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served a tour with the 10th Cavalry in Fort Carson, Colorado, and then entered the U.S. Army Aviation School in 1976. He was the top graduate of his flight class and was designated an Army Aviator in October 1976. After completing a Master of Science degree at Georgia Tech in 1982, Clifford was assigned to the Department of Mechanics at West Point as an instructor and associate professor. In December 1986 he graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and was designated an Experimental Test Pilot, logging over 3,500 flying hours in more than 50 aircraft types. Clifford is the recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, NASA Exceptional Leadership Medal, NASA Space Flight Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.