Spaceboosters has today learned that space veteran former astronaut Alan “Dex” Poindexter, 50, a space shuttle commander who flew twice into space, died Sunday (July 1) after being injured in a water sports accident in Florida, NASA has today confirmed.
NASA EXPERIENCE:Selected by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August 1998. Initially, Poindexter served in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch performing duties as the lead support astronaut at Kennedy Space Center. He served as a CAPCOM for several missions and is veteran of two space flights. Captain Poindexter has logged more than 669 hours in space. In 2008, he served as Pilot on STS-122, and in 2010 was the Commander of STS-131. Captain Poindexter retired from NASA in December 2010.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-122 aboard Atlantis (February 7-20, 2008) was the 24th Shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station. Mission highlight was the delivery and installation of the European Space Agency’s Columbus Laboratory. It took three spacewalks by crewmembers to prepare the Columbus Laboratory for its scientific work, and to replace an expended nitrogen tank on the Station’s P-1 Truss. STS-122 was also a crew replacement mission, delivering Expedition-16 Flight Engineer, ESA Astronaut Léopold Eyharts, and returning home with Expedition-16 Flight Engineer, NASA Astronaut Daniel Tani. The STS-122 mission was accomplished in 12 days, 18 hours, 21 minutes and 40 seconds, and traveled 5,296,832 statute miles in 203 Earth orbits.
NASA astronaut Alan Poindexter, STS-131 commander, poses for a photo in the Cupola of the International Space Station while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station.
STS-131 aboard Discovery (April 5-20, 2010), a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), launched just before dawn from the Kennedy Space Center. Upon arrival at the station, Discovery’s crew performed three spacewalks to replace an empty ammonia tank for the ISS Thermal Control System. They also transferred more than 13,000 pounds of hardware, supplies and equipment. Included in the transfer, were a new crew sleeping quarters, and three scientific experiment racks. On the return journey the MPLM (Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) inside Discovery’s payload bay was packed with over 6,000 pounds of hardware, and scientific and technical research return samples. The STS-131 mission lasted 15 days, 02 hours, 47 minutes, 10 seconds, and traveled 6,232,235 statute miles in 238 Earth orbits.
Attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits, these seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-131 crew portrait. Seated are NASA astronauts Alan Poindexter (right), commander; and James P. Dutton Jr., pilot. Pictured from the left (standing) are NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio, Stephanie Wilson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki and NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson, all mission specialists.