Excerpt from Col. Johnson's Bio
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August 1998. He completed Astronaut Candidate Training in 2000. Following initial training and evaluation, astronaut candidates receive technical assignments within the Flight Crew Operations Directorate before being assigned to a space flight. In 2000, Johnson was assigned as a Technical Assistant to the Director, Flight Crew Operations Directorate (FCOD). In conjunction with that position, Johnson was assigned to the Shuttle Cockpit Avionics Upgrade (CAU) council – redesigning cockpit displays for future Space Shuttle missions. His design and evaluation work with CAU has continued to the present.
In 2001, Johnson was reassigned from FCOD to the Space Shuttle Branch, where he’s held various positions including direct support to the crews of STS-100 and STS-108, chief of shuttle abort planning and procedures for contingency scenarios, and ascent procedure development. He also was a key player on several “tiger teams” during the investigation into the cause of the Columbia accident in 2003. Johnson was the astronaut representative to the External Tank (ET) foam impact test team that eventually proved that ET foam debris on ascent could critically damage the shuttle’s leading edge thermal protection system. In 2004, Johnson was designated as the Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Safety Branch, focusing on all aspects of Space Shuttle, ISS, and T-38 safety, with special emphasis on improving specific operational procedures and techniques to make astronauts safer in all three vehicles. In 2005, Johnson was appointed as a crew representative supporting the design and testing of NASA’s newest spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle. In early 2007, Johnson was selected to pilot Endeavour on the STS-123 mission that launched in March 2008. On that mission, he logged over 378 hours in space.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Johnson was pilot of STS-123 Endeavour (March 11-26, 2008) which completed both launch and landing at night. It was the 25 th Shuttle/Station assembly mission. Endeavour’s crew delivered the Japanese Experiment Logistics Module – Pressurized Section, the first pressurized component of JAXA’s Kibo Laboratory, and the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System, the Canadian-built Dextre, also known as the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator. In addition to pilot duties aboard Endeavour, Johnson was a primary robotic arm operator, employing both the Space Shuttle and ISS robotic arms in support of numerous tasks throughout the mission. The STS-123 crew performed a record five spacewalks while docked to the station. The crew also delivered Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman, and returned to Earth with ESA’s Léopold Eyharts. The mission was accomplished in 250 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 6 million miles in 15 days, 18 hours, 10 minutes and 54 seconds.
Thanks, Col. Johnson, for a great time.