COL Sherwood C. “Woody” Spring, USA (Ret.)

Col. Woody Spring

Colonel Sherwood “Woody” Spring, USA (Ret.), was selected as a NASA Astronaut in May 1980.  Born September 3, 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, he considers Harmony, Rhode Island, to be his hometown. He graduated from Ponaganset High School, Chepachet, in 1963. Colonel Spring graduated from West Point in 1967, served two tours in Vietnam, holds two master of science degrees in Aerospace Engineering, one from the United States Military Academy and one from the University of Arizona.  He also completed Navy Test Pilot school and spent four years as an experiential test pilot.  He has experience in 25 types of airplanes and helicopters logging over 4,000 hours flying time.

While with NASA Colonel Spring’s responsibilities included:  software verification at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory and Flight Simulation Laboratory; Vehicle and satellite integration; Astronaut Office EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) expert; Space Station Construction, EVA maintenance, and design. Woody Spring served as a mission specialist on the 23rd Space Shuttle flight, STS-61B, which flew November 26 through December 3, 1985.  While in orbit aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis, Colonel Spring was responsible for launching three communications satellites and performed two spacewalks (EVA’s) totaling 12 hours outside the orbiter.  The EVA’s investigated Space Station Construction techniques, large structure manipulation and a time and motion study for comparison between Earth training and space performance.  Due to his in orbit construction work Woody Spring is an honorary member of the Steel Workers Union.  With the completion of his flight Colonel Spring logged 165 hours in space.

Immediately after the Challenger accident, he was assigned as part of the tiger team accident investigation task force. Before his retirement from the Army in 1994, Colonel Spring served as Director of the U.S. Army Space Program Office. He now (2004) holds the position of Associate Director of ALPHATECH, a developer of technology-intensive applications software for government and industry.

SPECIAL HONORS: 1 Distinguished Flying Cross, 2 Army Bronze Stars, 1 Army Meritorious Service Medal, 3 Army Commendations, 9 Army Air Medals, a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medals, and NASA Space Flight Medal. Recipient, in 1986, of two honorary doctorate degrees; Doctor of Science, and Doctor of Humane Letters.

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