Army astronaut arrives at space station
December 23, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 23, 2009) -- U.S. Army Col. Timothy J. "T.J." Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi docked with the International Space Station at 5:48 p.m. EST Tuesday.
The trio launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft at 4:52 p.m. Sunday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
From inside the station, the Expedition 22 commander retired Col. Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev monitored the approach of the Russian spacecraft as it docked to the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module.
After completion of leak checks, the hatches between the two vehicles were opened at 7:30 p.m. Williams and Suraev, who arrived at the station Oct. 2 aboard the Soyuz TMA-16, welcomed the new Expedition 22 flight engineers aboard their orbital home for the next five months.
All five Expedition 22 crew members spoke in a video teleconference with officials from Russia, Japan and the United States.
Creamer, 50, is making his first flight into space. He graduated from Loyola College in May 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, and was commissioned through the ROTC program as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
He entered the U.S. Army Aviation School in December 1982, and was designated as an Army aviator in August 1983, graduating as the distinguished graduate from his class.
He was subsequently assigned to the 1st Armored Division as a section leader, platoon leader, flight operations officer, and as a personnel staff officer for the 501st Attack Helicopter Battalion.
In 1987, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division as a commander of an air cavalry troop in the 17th Cavalry, and later as the personnel officer of the 82nd Aviation Brigade. Following this assignment, he completed a Master of Science degree in physics at MIT in 1992, and was subsequently assigned to the Department of Physics at the United States Military Academy as an assistant professor.
Other military schools include Army Parachutist Course, Army Jumpmaster Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, and the Command and General Staff College. Prior to his astronaut selection in 1998, he had been working as a Space Operations Officer, with the Army Space Command, stationed in Houston, Texas. He is now the Army's NASA Detachment commander.
Creamer was assigned to NASA at the Johnson Space Center in July 1995 as a Space Shuttle vehicle integration test engineer. His duties primarily involved engineering liaison for launch and landing operations of the space shuttle. He was actively involved in the integrated tests of the systems for each orbiter for its preparations for its next flight, and directly supported eight shuttle missions as a vehicle integration test team lead. Additionally, he focused his efforts in coordinating the information technologies for the Astronaut Office to aid personnel in their electronic communications both on JSC as well as through their travels to other centers.
Selected by NASA in June 1998, Creamer reported for Astronaut Candidate Training in August 1998. Having completed the initial two years of intensive Space Shuttle and Space Station training, he was assigned technical duties in the Space Station Branch of the Astronaut Office, where his primary focus involved the command and control computers on Space Station, as well as the office automation support computers, and the operational Local Area Network encompassing all international partners and modules.
Beginning November 2000, Creamer became the crew support astronaut for the Expedition 3 crew, which was on orbit from August 2001 to December 2001. He was the primary contact for all the crew needs, coordination, planning and interactions, and was the primary representative of the crew while they were on orbit.
Starting March 2002, Creamer headed the Hardware Integration Section of the Space Station Branch, responsible for ensuring all hardware configurations were properly integrated, and that all operational aspects of the future ISS hardware are accounted for. In October 2004, he was assigned to be the astronaut office representative and coordinator for all things relating to on-orbit Information Technologies.
He was next assigned to the Robotics Branch, dealing with the international partners on all computer aspects of robotics operations, as well as all of the command and control software and user interfaces. Additionally, he was the real-time support lead for Expedition 12 for all things involving the robotics operations on the International Space Station.