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James van Hoften

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Collection: 1944 Births, 1984 in Spaceflight, 1985 in Spaceflight, American Astronauts, American Aviators, American Business Executives, American Businesspeople, American Civil Engineers, American Engineers, American Military Personnel of the Vietnam War, American People of Dutch Descent, Aviators from California, Colorado State University Alumni, Living People, People from Fresno, California, Recipients of the Air Medal, Recipients of the NASA Space Flight Medal, United States Naval Aviators, United States Navy Officers, University of California, Berkeley Alumni, University of Houston Faculty
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James van Hoften

James D. A. van Hoften
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1944-06-11) June 11, 1944
Fresno, California, U.S.
Other names
James Dougal Adrianus van Hoften
Other occupation
Naval aviator, engineer
UC Berkeley, B.S. 1966
CSU, M.S. 1968, Ph.D. 1976
Time in space
14d 01h 57m
Selection 1978 NASA Group 8
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
21 hours 57 minutes[1]
Missions STS-41-C, STS-51-I
Mission insignia
Retirement August 1, 1986

James Dougal Adrianus "Ox" van Hoften, Ph.D. (born June 11, 1944) is an American civil and hydraulic engineer, retired U.S. Navy officer and aviator, and a former astronaut for NASA.


  • Personal data 1
  • Education 2
  • Flight experience 3
  • NASA career 4
    • Spaceflight experience 4.1
  • Post-NASA career 5
  • Organizations 6
  • Awards and honors 7
  • Physical description 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Personal data

Van Hoften was born June 11, 1944, in Fresno, California. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America where he achieved its second highest rank, Life Scout. He considers Burlingame, California, to be his hometown. He is of Dutch descent. Van Hoften is married to the former Vallarie Davis of Pasadena, with three children: Jennifer Lyn (born October 31, 1971), Jamie Juliana (born August 24, 1977), and Victoria Jane (born March 17, 1981). He enjoys skiing, playing handball and racquetball, and jogging.


Graduated from Mills High School, Millbrae, California, in 1962; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966; a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Hydraulic Engineering from Colorado State University in 1968 and 1976, respectively.

Flight experience

From 1969 to 1974, Van Hoften was a turbulence, waves, and cardiovascular flows. From 1977 until 1980 he flew F-4N's with Naval Reserve Fighter Squadron 201 at NAS Dallas and then three years as a member of the Texas Air National Guard with the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group at Ellington Field as a pilot in the F-4C.

He has logged 3,300 hours flying time, the majority in jet aircraft.

NASA career

Dr. Van Hoften was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. He completed a 1-year training and evaluation period in August 1979.

From 1979 through the first flight, STS-1, Van Hoften supported the Space Shuttle entry and on-orbit guidance, navigation and flight control testing at the Flight Systems Laboratory at Downey, California. Subsequently he was lead of the Astronaut Support Team at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, responsible for the Space Shuttle turn-around testing and flight preparations. He served as a Mission Specialist on STS-41-C in 1984, and STS-51-I in 1985. Dr. Van Hoften has logged a total 338 hours in space, including 22 hours of EVA flight time.

Spaceflight experience

Van Hoften's EVA during STS-51-I mission

STS-41-C: Challenger (April 6–13, 1984) was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. During the 7-day mission the crew successfully deployed the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF); retrieved the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite, repaired it on board the orbiting Challenger and replaced it in orbit, using the robot arm called the Remote Manipulator System (RMS). The mission also included flight testing of Manned Maneuvering Units (MMU's) in two extra-vehicular activities (EVA's); operation of the Cinema 360 and IMAX Camera Systems, as well as a Bee Hive Honeycomb Structures student experiment. The mission was accomplished in 107 Earth orbits in 167 hours, 40 minutes, 7 seconds.

Earth in 171 hours, 17 minutes, 42 seconds.

Post-NASA career

Dr. Van Hoften is a former senior Vice President and partner of the Bechtel Corporation. He was managing director of the global airport design and construction business and was responsible for airport developments in the Middle East, Japan, and North and South America. In the early 1990s, he was the program manager of the $23 billion Hong Kong Airport Core Programme including the new Hong Kong Airport. He later acted as Director of Projects for the UK National Air Traffic Services. In 2009[2] he was appointed a non-executive director of Gatwick Airport.[3]


Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Sigma Xi, Chi Epsilon, and Pi Kappa Alpha.

Awards and honors

Physical description

  • Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
  • Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
  • Hair: Brown
  • Eyes: Hazel[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Ox" Van Hoften's EVA experience
  2. ^ Global Infrastructure Partners announces Board for London Gatwick Airport, Press release dated 23 November 2009 Retrieved 2012-12-30
  3. ^ Gatwick Airport Board of Directors Retrieved 2012-12-30
  4. ^ James van Hoften's physical description

External links

  • Van Hoften's official NASA biography
  • Astronautix biography of James van Hoften
  • Spacefacts biography of James van Hoften
  • Van Hoften at Spaceacts
  • James van Hoften at the Internet Movie Database
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