ESA title
Douglas H. Wheelock
Science & Exploration

Douglas Wheelock

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Esperia

NASA Astronaut

Personal data

Born 5 May 1960 in Binghamton, New York, USA and considers Windsor, New York to be his hometown.


Received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Science and Engineering from the United States Military Academy in 1983, and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1992.

Special honours

Various awards and medals, principally US military and NASA.


Wheelock received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Infantry in May 1983. He entered flight school in 1984, graduated at the top of his flight class and was designated as an Army Aviator in September 1984. He subsequently served as a combat aviation Section Leader, Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Battalion Operations Officer, and Commander of an Air Cavalry Troop in the 9th U.S. Cavalry.

He was later assigned to the Aviation Directorate of Combat Developments as an Advanced Weapons Research and Development Engineer. As part of his Master of Science degree he carried out research in the areas of hypersonic and high temperature gas dynamics, flight stability and control, and automatic control and robotics.

After completion of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School he was assigned as an Experimental Test Pilot with the US Army Aviation Technical Test Center. He served as Division Chief for testing of Army Scout/Attack aircraft and weapons systems in support of tactical operations in the Balkans. Wheelock’s work as a test pilot culminated in his assignment as Division Chief for fixed-wing testing of airborne signal and imagery intelligence systems in support of the US National Program Office for Intelligence and Electronic Warfare. Wheelock is a dual-rated US Master Army Aviator. He is also an FAA-rated commercial pilot in single and multi-engine land craft, rotorcraft, and gliders.

NASA experience

Wheelock reported for Astronaut Candidate Training in August 1998. Following two years training, he was assigned to the Astronaut Office ISS Operations Branch as a Russian Liaison, participating in the testing and integration of Russian hardware and software products developed for the ISS.

In 2001 he assumed duties as the Crew Support Astronaut for the ISS Expedition 2 crew, from March to August 2001, and for the ISS Expedition 4 crew, from December 2001 to June 2002. He was the primary contact for all crew needs, coordination, planning and interactions.

In August 2002, Wheelock was assigned as a Spacecraft Communicator in the mission control centre in Houston. He was the primary communication link between crews on orbit and the ground support team in the control centre. He was assigned as lead Capsule Communicator or CAPCOM for the ISS Expedition 8 mission, which was 194 days in duration.

In January 2005, Wheelock was assigned to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia, as NASA's Director of Operations–Russia. He was responsible for supporting Russia-based training, logistic, and administrative needs of NASA astronauts preparing for flight on the ISS and was the primary liaison between Star City and NASA operations in Houston.

Wheelock will conduct both EVA and robotics operations during three of the scheduled spacewalks during the STS-120 mission.

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