- Neil Woodward
Neil W. Woodward NASA Astronaut Nationality American Status Retired Born July 26, 1962
Other occupation Test pilot Rank Commander, USN Selection 1998 NASA Group Missions None
Married. Enjoys reading, computers, sailing, music, wine and cooking. His father, Dr. Neil W. Woodward Jr., resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His mother, Aileen S. Woodward, is deceased. Member of the United States Naval Institute and Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity.
Putnam City High School, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1980. B.S., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1984. M.A., Physics, University of Texas at Austin, 1988. Masters in Engineering Management, The George Washington University, 2000. Woodward graduated from MIT in June 1984, with a degree in Physics. He attended graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, working in the Center for Relativity and then the Fusion Research Center. His thesis research involved using optical spectroscopy to investigate neoclassical plasma rotation in the Texas Experimental Tokamak fusion reactor. He received his Master’s degree in 1988.
Woodward joined the US Navy, reporting to Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. He was commissioned in January 1989, and earned his wings as a Naval Flight Officer in March 1990. He reported to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, where he completed initial Bombardier/Navigator training in the A-6E Intruder and was then assigned to the Green Lizards of Attack Squadron 95. Woodward made two deployments with VA-95 aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in support of Operation Desert Storm (post-cease fire), Southern Watch, and Somalia. He was then assigned to the Naval Strike Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada, where he served as Weaponeering Officer and Contingency Cell Officer. In 1995, he was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, and graduated with distinction in July 1996. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the Air Vehicle/Stores Compatibility Department at the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron (NSATS) in Patuxent River. While at NSATS, he cross-trained in the F/A-18 Hornet and tested stores and systems for the F/A-18B, F/A-18D, and F/A-18F aircraft. Woodward was assigned to the Strike Aircraft Test Squadron when he was selected for the astronaut program.
Woodward logged over 1,700 flight hours in more than 25 different aircraft and has 265 arrested landings.
Selected by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August 1998. Astronaut Candidate Training included orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques.
From July 2004 to July 2008, Woodward was on detached duty to Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in various roles, including Director of the ESMD Integration Office and Director, Commercial Orbital Transportation Services.
Woodward retired from the Navy and NASA in October 2008, and currently works in the information technology field.
Awards and honors
- Distinguished Graduate, US Naval Test Pilot School
- Empire Test Pilot School Award for Best Developmental Test Thesis, USNTPS
- Navy Commendation Medals (2)
- Navy Achievement Medals (2)
- Texas Business Hall of Fame fellowship (2000)
NASA Astronaut Group 17, "The Penguins", 1998 Pilots Mission SpecialistsClayton Anderson • Tracy Caldwell Dyson • Gregory Chamitoff • Timothy Creamer • Michael Foreman • Michael E. Fossum • Stanley G. Love • Leland D. Melvin • Barbara Morgan • John D. Olivas • Nicholas Patrick • Garrett Reisman • Patricia Robertson • Steven Swanson • Douglas H. Wheelock • Sunita Williams • Neil Woodward International Mission Specialists NASA Astronaut Groups · NASA Astronaut Corps
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