Dan Brandenstein is an American astronaut who was born on January 17, 1943 in
Wisconsin. Before he became an astronaut, Brandenstein served as a Navy pilot
in the Vietnam War. He has flown over 5600 hours in 24 different types
Brandenstein became an astronaut in 1979. He has made four spaceflights
spending over 576 hours in space.
In 1983, Brandenstein piloted the first nighttime launch and landing of a space
shuttle. In 1985, he commanded an
international mission. The crew included Saudi Prince Sultan al-Saud and French
In 1990, Brandenstein commanded shuttle Columbia in a mission that set a
shuttle endurance record. The crew spent
10 days in space and retrieved the Long Duration Exposure Facility.
During his last mission in 1992, Brandenstein and his crew performed one of the
most difficult space shuttle missions to date. Brandenstein and pilot Kevin
Chilton performed some risky flying aboard the new Endeavour shuttle in an
attempt to retrieve a satellite. They flew within a few feet of the rotating
satellite, allowing the rest of the crew to literally grab it and pull it into
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