Charles E. Brady, Jr.

Charles E. Brady, Jr.
Charles Eldon Brady, Jr.
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Deceased
Born August 12, 1951(1951-08-12)
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Other occupation Medical Doctor
Rank Captain, United States Navy
Time in space 16d 21h 48m
Selection 1992 NASA Group
Missions STS-78
Mission insignia Sts-78-patch.png

Charles Eldon Brady, Jr. (August 12, 1951 – July 23, 2006) (Captain, United States Navy) was an American physician and a NASA astronaut.[1][2][3]


Personal data

Brady was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina, but considered Robbins, North Carolina, to be his hometown.[4] He lived in San Juans Islands in Washington State. He enjoyed canoeing, kayaking, tennis, biking and amateur radio operating. His father is deceased, his mother resides in Robbins, North Carolina. Brady's death was the result of suicide. At the time his death was announced to the public, many reports stated that he had died after a lengthy illness (severe pain and paralysis from his rheumatoid arthritis)[2][3][5], other sources speculated that Brady's decision to take his own life might have been brought on by his chronic pain and diminished mobility.[6][7][8] This is also supported by NASA internal emails related to Brady that were later released under the Freedom of Information Act.[9] He is survived by his son, Charles "Charlie" Brady, III.


Brady graduated from North Moore High School in Robbins, North Carolina in 1969, and went on to study pre-med at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1971. Brady received his medical degree from Duke University in 1975.[1] From Duke, he went to the University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville for his internship.[1]


In 1978 Brady worked as the team physician in sports medicine for Iowa State University in Ames. He continued in sports medicine and family practice for the next seven years working as a team physician at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.[4] He joined the Navy in 1986 receiving training as a flight surgeon at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.[4] In June 1986 he reported to Carrier Air Wing Two on board the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61). He was assigned to the attack wing including Attack Squadron 145 (VA-145) and Aviation Electronic Countermeasures Squadron 131 (VAQ-131). Brady was selected for the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels in 1988 and served with them through 1990.[4] He was serving in Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129 when selected for the astronaut program.[1]

NASA career

Brady was selected by NASA in March 1992, and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. He was qualified for selection as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. Assignments included: working technical issues for the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch; flight software testing in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); astronaut representative to the Human Research Policy and Procedures Committee; deputy chief for Space Shuttle astronaut training; and chief for Space Station astronaut training in the Mission Operations Division. He flew on STS-78 in 1996 and logged over 405 hours in space.[1]

As an astronaut and amateur radio enthusiast, callsign N4BQW, Brady was one of the pioneers of the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) and a member of the American Radio Relay League.[3][4]


STS-78 launched June 20, 1996 and landed 16 days and 21 hours later: July 7, 1996 becoming the longest Space Shuttle mission to date (later that year the STS-80 mission broke that record by nineteen hours.) The Life and Microgravity Spacelab mission served as a model for future studies on board the International Space Station.[4] The mission included studies sponsored by ten nations, five space agencies, and the crew included a Frenchman, a Canadian, a Spaniard and an Italian.[1]


  • Association of Military Surgeons of the United States
  • Society of U.S. Naval Flight Surgeons
  • Aerospace Medical Association and Space Medicine Branch
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Phi Eta Sigma

Special honors

  • Eagle Scout[1]
  • Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
  • Recipient of the Fox Flag for highest academic achievement at Naval Aerospace Medical Institute
  • Richard E. Luehrs Memorial Award for Navy Operational Flight Surgeon of the Year (1987)
  • Flight Surgeon for the "Blue Angels" Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (1989–1990)
  • Physician Coordinator for Operation Raleigh-USA (a British-sponsored international youth leadership program selected by the U.S. Department of Defense)
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star
  • Navy Achievement Medal
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation, Battle E
  • NASA Space Flight Medal
  • National Defense Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal
  • Sea Service Ribbon


  1. ^ a b c d e f g NASA (July, 2006). "Charles E. Brady, Jr". NASA. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  2. ^ a b Leary, Warren (July 29, 2006). "Charles Brady Jr., 54, Astronaut and a Ham Radio Enthusiast, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  3. ^ a b c ARRL (July 27, 2006). "Dr Charles E. "Chuck" Brady Jr, N4BQW, SK". National Association for Amateur Radio. Retrieved 2008-11-23. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f Robert Z. Pearlman (2006). "STS-78 Astronaut Charles Brady, 54, Dies". Retrieved November 23, 2008. 
  5. ^ Seattle PI (2006). "Former space shuttle astronaut Brady dies". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved November 23, 2008. 
  6. ^ Marcia Dunn for the Associated Press (September 13, 2007). "NASA pondered meltdowns just before Nowak's arrest". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 23, 2008. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (September 12, 2007). "NASA was looking for ways to prevent astronaut meltdowns just before Nowak's arrest". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved November 23, 2008. 
  8. ^ Nell Greenfieldboyce (September 12, 2007). "Suicide Prompted NASA Investigation, E-Mails Show". National Public Radio. Retrieved November 23, 2008. 
  9. ^ NASA - various emails (2006). "E-mails relating to Charles Brady - FOI". NASA. Retrieved November 23, 2008. 

External links

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