|COLONEL JAMES C. ADAMSON|
Born: March 3, 1946 in Warsaw, New York
James C. Adamson (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired)
NASA Astronaut (former)
PERSONAL DATA: Born March 3, 1946, in Warsaw,
New York. Currently resides in Woodbine Maryland with his wife Ellen and two of
his three children. Adamson enjoys many outdoor sports: hunting, fishing, snow
skiing, long distance running, and camping. He is an accomplished woodworker and
a master machinist and gunsmith.
EDUCATION: Adamson completed his Bachelor of
Science in Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army at
West Point in 1969. In 1977 he completed a Master of Science degree in Aerospace
Engineering at Princeton University. Additionally he has completed undergraduate
and graduate pilot training, paratrooper training, arctic water and mountain
survival training, Nuclear weapons training, basic and advanced officer
training, Command and General Staff School, and the U. S. Navy Test Pilot
SPECIAL HONORS: He was a two time All American
in pistol competition, winner of the Army's Excellency In Competition Award, and
recipient of the George S. Patton award. Named an Outstanding College Athlete of
America, Adamson captained West Point's pistol team to the national championship
in 1969. He was distinguished graduate of his pilot training class as well as
distinguished graduate of both his graduate fixed wing and multi-engine pilot
training classes. During aerial combat in Southeast Asia he earned 2
Distinguished Flying Crosses, 18 air medals, and 3 Vietnamese Crosses of
Gallantry for valor. He also has earned his Nation's Defense Superior Service
Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, The Army's Meritorious Service Medal,
Two Army Commendation Medals, the Bronze Star, NASA's Exceptional Service Medal,
2 NASA Space Flight Medals, and is a world record holder for space flight
lifting the most weight to orbit.
MILITARY EXPERIENCE: As a military test pilot,
Adamson has flown research aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Princeton
University, West Point, Patuxent Naval Air Station, and NASA Houston. He has
logged over 3,000 hours of flight time in over 30 types of helicopters, piston
props, turbo props, and turbo jet aircraft. During Vietnam, he flew in the IV
Corps area and Cambodia with the Air Cavalry as Scout Pilot, Team Lead, and Air
Mission Commander. He has also flown with several peacetime flight units at Fort
Bliss, Texas, West Point, New York, and Houston, Texas. Following completion of
his Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, he became
Assistant Professor of Aerodynamics at the United States Military Academy at
West Point. While at West Point, he developed and taught courses in Fluid
Mechanics, Aerodynamics, Aircraft Performance, and Stability and Control. He
also developed flight laboratories in aircraft flight testing and completed a
text on aircraft performance. In addition to being an Experimental Test Pilot
and Master Aviator, Adamson is also a Certified Professional Engineer and
licensed Commercial Pilot. In ground assignments with the Army, Adamson has
commanded nuclear capable missile units in Europe and in the United
NASA EXPERIENCE: Adamson was employed at the
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center from 1981 to 1992. During the Operational Flight
Test phase of the Shuttle Program, he served as a research test pilot and
aerodynamics officer in Mission Control. Following completion of the operational
test flights he became Guidance Navigation and Control Officer for Shuttle
Missions 5 through 11. As research test pilot he also conducted airborne remote
sensing studies in Biospheric Research.
Selected by NASA as an Astronaut in 1984, Adamson became qualified for
mission assignment on Space Shuttle flights. In November 1985, he was selected
to the crew of a Department of Defense mission, which was subsequently delayed
due to the Challenger Accident.
During the Shuttle Program reconstruction period Adamson was one of eleven
astronauts selected to hold management positions within NASA. He served as
Shuttle Program Office Assistant Manager for Engineering Integration. In this
position he was responsible for the initial development of a reliability based
maintenance program for the Space Shuttle program. He also initiated an
enhancements program for Shuttle ground processing.
In February 1988 Adamson was assigned to the flight crew of STS-28, the first
flight of Columbia following the reconstruction period. Columbia launched from the
Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 8, 1989. The mission carried a
classified Department of Defense payload and a number of secondary payloads.
After 80 earth orbits in 121 hours, this five day mission concluded with a dry
lakebed landing on runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on August
Following STS-28 Adamson once again returned to
management. This time he was assigned to the Kennedy Space Center as Director of
Shuttle Processing Analysis. He served in this post from September 1989 until
October 1990 when he was assigned to the flight crew of STS-43. During this
period Adamson developed risk based processing and scheduling programs which
resulted in reduction of processing times from 80 days to 50 days.
The nine day STS-43 mission aboard Atlantis launched from the Kennedy Space Center on
August 2, 1991 setting a new world record for payload weight lifted to orbit.
The five member crew deployed a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-E), and
conducted 32 physical and life sciences experiments. During this flight Adamson
performed the first flight test of the Orbital Digital Autopilot following
Shuttle retrofit with new General Purpose Computers and new software. After 142
earth orbits in 213 hours, the STS-43 mission concluded with a landing on runway
15 at the Kennedy Space Center on August 11, 1991.
Following Adamsons retirement from government service in
June 1992 he continued as a management consultant to NASA and the aerospace
industry. Until September of 1994 he served as management consultant and
strategic planner for Lockheed Corporation in the area of Human Space Flight
Operations. He was also selected by the NASA Administrator to serve on the NASA
In September 1994 Adamson joined Lockheed Corporation as
Executive Vice President of Lockheed Engineering and Science company (LESC)
where he was shortly promoted to President and CEO. In late 1995 he was selected
by Lockeed Martin to start up and become the first COO of the United Space
Alliance (USA), a joint venture with Rockwell International Corp. USA
subsequently won the Space Flight Operations Contract with NASA to operated the
Space Shuttle Program and grew to $1.5 billion annual revenue in the first
In 1999 Adamson was recruited by Allied Signal
Corporation to be the President of Allied Signal Technical Services Corporation.
He remained in that post through Allied Signals merger with Honeywell until his
retirement in March 2001.
Adamson is still active as a consultant and board member
for the aerospace industry and still serves on the NASA Advisory Council for the
A veteran of two space flight missions, Adamson has
logged over 334 hours in space.
- "Synthesis of
BIS-2-(1,3-Diphenylimidazolidinylidene)", West Point, 1969
- "A Helicopter Simulator Study of Control Display Tradeoffs in a
Deceleration Approach", Article to the American Helicopter Society Journal, 1976.
- Fundamentals of Applied Aerodynamics, Text
rewrite, West Point, 1978.
- Principles of Aircraft Performance, Text for USMA
Dept. of Mechanics, 1979.
- T41-B Aircrew Training Manual, West Point, 1979.
- "The USMA Flight Laboratory Program", Paper to ASEE,
- "A Simulator Study of Control and Display Tradeoffs in
a Decelerating Approach", Adamson, Born, Dukes, MAE Tech. Rpt. No. 1428,
Princeton NJ, 1976.
- "A Helicopter Simulator Study of Control Display
Tradeoffs in a Decelerating Approach", Masters Thesis, Princeton NJ, 1976.
- "Dynamic Methods for Performance Flight Testing",
Paper to the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, Patuxent River MD, 1981.
- "An Analysis of The Projected Manpower Requirements
for the Shuttle Processing Contract", NASA Report JSC-22662, 1988.
- NASA Response to the Presidential Commission on the
Challenger Accident, contributing author, Houston,