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  Astronaut Neil Woodward leaves NASA

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Author Topic:   Astronaut Neil Woodward leaves NASA
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-28-2008 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to 1998 Astronaut Class member Neil Woodward's personal Twitter page, he is a "soon-to-be-retired Astronaut" and is moving from Washington, DC, where he is currently deputy director for Constellation Systems, to Seattle, WA.

Delta7
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Posts: 1153
From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 06-28-2008 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder why he never made it into space.

Delta7
Member

Posts: 1153
From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 06-28-2008 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If one looks closely at Woodward's NASA bio, one notices something a little different in the last paragraph. Normally, that last part refers to how the individual completed the astronaut-candidate training program, and thus became eligible for flight assignment. In Woodward's case, however, it only describes the ASCAN program in general; no mention of him having actually completed it.

I wonder if there was a previously undetected medical condition that surfaced, or possibly an injury that prevented him from completing the program. Due to privacy issues, that would not have been revealed. Whatever the case, something happened that prevented him from doing the job for which he was initially hired, namely flying in space.

Woodward joins a short list of individuals who can claim they are former NASA astronauts, but never flew a mission:

Duane E. Graveline.
F. Curtis Michel.
John S. Bull.
Philip K. Chapman.
Donald L. Holmquest.
J. Anthony Llewellyn.
Brian T. O'Leary.
Christopher "Gus" Loria.

Also apparently to be on that list eventually: Yvonne Cagle and Fernando "Frank" Caldero, who are still listed as Management Astronauts, but who no longer appear on the annual NASA Astronaut Poster and have long ago been by-passed for flight assignment.

Tom
Member

Posts: 1275
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 06-28-2008 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delta7:
I wonder if there was a previously undetected medical condition that surfaced, or possibly an injury that prevented him from completing the program.
Yes, but the first sentence in that paragraph says... "Selected by NASA in June 1998..."

Michael Cassutt
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Posts: 263
From: Studio City CA USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 06-28-2008 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Cassutt   Click Here to Email Michael Cassutt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Woodward did complete the ASCAN program, at least according to all my information. He was assigned to the Shuttle ops branch in December 1999, then to ISS Expedition training. His official NASA bio called him a "candidate" prior to June 2000 (when his ASCAN group formally completed training), an astronaut or mission specialist -- no "candidate" -- after that.

(Melvin's contemporaneous bio, which I just checked, also lacks a mention of "completed" training.)

That said, it's obvious that Woodward suffered some sort of disqualification -- I might date it to 2003-2004. His last JSC assignment was as crew support for Expedition-8. After that, he was detailed to HQ.

Michael Cassutt

eurospace
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Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 07-10-2008 12:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a lead for Woodward into Oklahoma City, OK, but no precise information about his professional plans there yet.

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany

International Director (Europe), Space Unit
Vice President, Weltraum Philatelie e. V.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2008 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neil Woodward's NASA biography has been moved to the Former Astronauts page.

Michael Cassutt
Member

Posts: 263
From: Studio City CA USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 07-25-2008 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Cassutt   Click Here to Email Michael Cassutt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
I have a lead for Woodward into Oklahoma City, OK, but no precise information about his professional plans there yet.
You might want to double-check that -- Woodward's father, also named Neil, I believe, lives in OKC.

My info is that Woodward is headed for an IT/internet company in Seattle, fall 2008.

Michael Cassutt

tncmaxq
Member

Posts: 264
From: New Haven, CT USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 07-25-2008 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am surprised at Gus Loria. Why did he leave? I had not heard about it. He had been capcom on liftoff a few times and I thought that was like a "precursor" to getting assigned to a flight.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2008 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Loria had been assigned to fly STS-113 as pilot be an undisclosed injury forced his being replaced by Paul Lockhart. Loria "had had an accident at home and suffered an injury," said NASA at the time. To quote Wikipedia:
During the fall of 2004, Colonel Loria's injuries were deemed inoperable and resulted in his being medically disqualified from space flight exploration missions. Colonel Loria requested assignment back to the operational forces of the Marine Corps where he served as the Inspector General for the 1st Marine Air Wing, Okinawa, Japan and presently serves as the Director of Operations (J3) for Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD.

MSS
Member

Posts: 372
From: Kolo, Poland
Registered: May 2003

posted 07-28-2008 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MSS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cassutt:
My info is that Woodward is headed for an IT/internet company in Seattle, fall 2008.
His last workday in NASA was July 21st!

------------------
Maciej,
Astronauts, Cosmonauts & their flights

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 07-29-2008 11:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Loria had been assigned to fly STS-113 as pilot be an undisclosed injury forced his being replaced by Paul Lockhart.
Undisclosed?

The same Wikipedia text mentions "severe back injury", and, in the right box, "3 herniated lumbar discs". That is pretty detailed for "undisclosed" if you ask me... just the disc numbers are missing (I'd say L3/L4/L5)...

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany

International Director (Europe), Space Unit
Vice President, Weltraum Philatelie e. V.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

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