Frederick Hauck

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Frederick H. (Rick) Hauck (pronounced HOWK) (Captain, U.S. Navy, Retired) is a former NASA Astronaut.


Personal data

Born April 11, 1941, in Long Beach, California, but considers Winchester, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., to be his hometowns. His parents were the late Captain and Mrs. Philip F. Hauck. Rick is married to Susan Cameron Bruce. During his spare time, he enjoys skiing, sailing, kayaking, golf, tennis, and working on his 1958 Corvette. Currently, he is President and Chief Executive Officer, AXA (pronounced “ack-sah”) Space, Inc.


Memberships, Boards, & Panels

  • Fellow, Society of Experimental Test Pilots
  • Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • Board of Trustees, Tufts University (1987-)
  • Board of Governors, St. Albans School (1989-95)
  • Association of Space Explorers (Vice President, 1991-93; Board of Directors, 2000-)
  • Technical Advisor to The Synthesis Group on America’s Space Exploration Initiative (1990-91)
  • Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), Department of Transportation (1992-99)
  • Chair, COMSTAC Task Group on Russian Entry into Commercial Space Markets (1992)
  • NASA Commercial Programs Advisory Committee (1991)
  • Department of Commerce U.S. Space Commerce Mission to Russia (1992)
  • NASA Mission Review Task Group (Space Salvage) (1992)
  • General Dynamics Atlas Failure Review Oversight Boards (1992, 1993)
  • U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment Advisory Panel on National Space Transportation Policy (1994-95)
  • Chair, NASA External Independent Readiness Review Team for Second Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission (1995-97)
  • National Research Council (NRC) Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (1996- )
  • NRC Committee on International Space Station Meteoroid/Debris Risk Management (1995-1996)
  • Chair, NRC Committee on Space Shuttle Meteoroid/Debris Risk Management (1997)
  • Boeing Space Launch Mission Assurance Review Team (1999)
  • External Requirements Assessment Team for NASA 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Program (2000- )
  • Chair, NRC Committee on Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Surface of Mars (2001-)
  • Executive Committee, Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
  • Board of Directors, American Astronautical Society (AAS) (1997-2000)
  • Chair, Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers, Tufts University (1997- )
  • External Visiting Committee, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford Univ. (2001)

Special honors

  • Two Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medals
  • the NASA Distinguished Service Medal
  • the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership
  • the Defense Superior Service Medal
  • the Legion of Merit
  • the Distinguished Flying Cross
  • the Air Medal (9)
  • the Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star and Combat V
  • the NASA Space Flight Medal (3)
  • Astronaut Hall of Fame
  • the Navy’s Outstanding Test Pilot Award
  • the Presidential Cost Saving Commendation
  • the AIAA Haley Space Flight Award
  • Lloyd’s of London Silver Medal for Meritorious Service
  • two AAS Flight Achievement Awards
  • the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal
  • the FAI Komarov Diploma (2)
  • the Tufts University Presidential Medal
  • the Tufts University Light on the Hill Award
  • the Delta Upsilon Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • Who’s Who in America


Hauck, a Navy ROTC student at Tufts University, was commissioned upon graduation in 1962 and reported to USS Warrington (DD-843) where he served 20 months as communications officer and CIC officer. In 1964, he attended the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, for studies in mathematics and physics and for a brief time in 1965 studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. Selected for the Navy’s Advanced Science Program, he received a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from MIT the next year. He commenced flight training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, in 1966, and received his Navy wings in 1968. As a pilot with Attack Squadron 35 he deployed to the Western Pacific with Air Wing 15 aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), flying 114 combat and combat support missions.

In August 1970, Hauck joined Attack Squadron 42 as a visual weapons delivery instructor in the A-6 Intruder. Selected for test pilot training, he reported to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1971. A 3-year tour in the Naval Air Test Center’s Carrier Suitability Branch of the Flight Test Division followed. During this period, Hauck served as a project test pilot for automatic carrier landing systems in the A-6 Intruder, A-7 Corsair II, F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat aircraft and was team leader for the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey aircraft carrier trials of the F-14. In 1974, he reported as operations officer to Commander Carrier Air Wing 14 aboard USS Enterprise (CV(N)-65). On two cruises he flew the A-6, A-7, and F-14 during both day and night carrier operations. He reported to Attack Squadron 145 as Executive Officer in February 1977.

NASA selected Hauck as an astronaut candidate in January 1978. He was pilot for STS-7, the seventh flight of the Space Shuttle, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18, 1983. The crew included Bob Crippen (spacecraft commander), and three mission specialists, John Fabian, Sally Ride, and Norm Thagard. This was the second flight for the orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a 5-person crew. During the mission, the STS-7 crew deployed satellites for Canada (ANIK-C2) and Indonesia (Palapa B-1); operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to perform the first deployment and retrieval exercise (with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01)); and with Crippen conducted the first piloting of the orbiter in close proximity to a free-flying satellite (SPAS-01). Mission duration was 147 hours before landing on a lakebed runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24, 1983.

Hauck was spacecraft commander for the second mission of Discovery on mission STS 51-A, which launched on November 8, 1984. His crew included Dave Walker (pilot), and three mission specialists, Joe Allen, Anna Fisher, and Dale Gardner. During the mission the crew deployed two satellites, Telesat Canada’s Anik D-2, and Hughes’ LEASAT-1 (Syncom IV-1). In the first space salvage mission in history the crew also retrieved for return to earth the Palapa B-2 and Westar VI satellites. STS 51-A completed 127 orbits of the earth before landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 16, 1984.

In March 1985 Captain Hauck became the astronaut office project officer for the integration of the liquid-fueled Centaur upper stage rocket into the shuttle. In May 1985 he was named Commander of the Centaur-boosted Ulysses solar probe mission (sponsored by the European Space Agency). After the Challenger accident this mission was postponed, and the Shuttle Centaur project was terminated.

In August 1986, Captain Hauck was appointed NASA Associate Administrator for External Relations, the policy advisor to the NASA Administrator for congressional, public, international, inter-governmental, and educational affairs. He resumed his astronaut duties at the Johnson Space Center in early February 1987.

Hauck was spacecraft commander of Discovery on STS-26, the first flight to be flown after the Challenger accident. The mission launched on September 29, 1988. The flight crew included the pilot, Dick Covey, and three mission specialists, Dave Hilmers, Mike Lounge, and George (Pinky) Nelson. During the four-day mission, the crew deployed the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-C) and operated eleven mid-deck experiments. Discovery completed 64 orbits of the earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 3, 1988. Hauck has logged over 5500 flight hours, 436 in space.

In May 1989 he became Director, Navy Space Systems Division, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In this capacity he held budgeting responsibility for the Navy’s space programs. Captain Hauck left military active duty on June 1, 1990.

In October 1990, he joined AXA Space (formerly INTEC) as President and Chief Operating Officer and on January 1, 1993 assumed responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer. AXA Space is a world leader in providing property and casualty insurance for the risk of launching and operating satellites.




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