Daniel Brandenstein was born and grew up in Watertown, Wisconsin.
After graduating from the Watertown High School in 1961 he attended
the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. He graduated from River
Falls in 1965 with a BS degree and has been named a Distinguished
Alumnus by the school.
In 1965 he entered active duty with
the U.S. Navy. He earned his wings of gold in May 1967. Brandenstein
flew 192 combat missions during the period from 1968 until 1970 from
aircraft carriers deployed in the Southeast Asia conflict.
Among his many awards and decorations are the Distinguished Flying
Cross, 17 Air Medals, 2 NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, four
NASA Space Flight Medals, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the
Iven C. Kincheloe Award and the AIAA Haley Space Flight Award.
Captain Brandenstein is a graduate of
the Naval Test Pilot School and has conducted tests of electronic
warfare systems on various naval aircraft.
He has logged more than 6,400 hours of
flying time in 24 different types of aircraft and 400 carrier
Brandenstein was selected by NASA to become an astronaut in August,
1979. He has flown four Space Shuttle missions since 1983. He served
as pilot on his first flight aboard Challenger in 1983, commanded
the crew on Discovery in 1985, was again the crew commander on
Columbia in 1990. That flight was the longest shuttle mission flown
to date with 173 orbits of earth in 261 hours. His most recent
flight was as crew commander on the shuttle Endeavor. This mission
involved the retrieval and redeployment of a non-functioning
Intelsat satellite. He has logged over 789 hours in space.
Captain Brandenstein was the Chief of
the NASA Astronaut Office from 1986 until his retirement from NASA
and the Navy in October, 1992.
Today, Brandenstein is Vice President
and Program Manager of the Mission Support Operations Contract at
Lockheed Martin Space Operations.
Daniel C Brandenstein
Grumman A-6 Intruder at sunset
Deck crew moving Grumman A-6
Dan Brandenstein suiting up