14 Facts About Norman Thagard


Norman Thagard is the first American to ride to space on board a Russian vehicle, and can be considered the first American cosmonaut.


Norman Thagard did this on March 14,1995, in the Soyuz TM-21 spacecraft for the Russian Mir-18 mission.


Norman Thagard achieved the rank of captain in 1967, was designated a Naval Aviator in 1968 and was assigned to duty flying F-4 Phantom IIs with VMFA-333 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.


Norman Thagard flew 163 combat missions in Vietnam while assigned to VMFA-115 from January 1969 to 1970.


Norman Thagard returned to the United States and an assignment as aviation weapons division officer with VMFA-251 at the Marine Corps Air Station at Beaufort, South Carolina.


Norman Thagard resumed his academic studies in 1971, pursuing additional studies in Electrical Engineering, and a degree in medicine.


Norman Thagard is a pilot and has logged more than 2,200 hours flying time, of which the majority was in jet aircraft.


Norman Thagard was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978.


Norman Thagard first flew on the crew of STS-7, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18,1983.


Norman Thagard then flew on STS-51-B, the Spacelab-3 science mission, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 29,1985, aboard Challenger.


Norman Thagard assisted the commander and pilot on ascent and entry.


Norman Thagard next served on the crew of STS-30, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on May 4,1989, aboard the Orbiter Atlantis.


Norman Thagard served as payload commander on STS-42, aboard the orbiter Discovery, which lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on January 22,1992.


On his last mission, Norman Thagard was a crew member for the Russian Mir 18 mission.