Event Details
Payload Blog

Meet Astronaut Woody Spring

Oct 14, 2020 - Oct 18, 2020 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds from scientists to pilots. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen to be a member of the elite NASA Astronaut Corps. Each day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visitors get the rare opportunity to meet veteran NASA astronauts.


You may meet the Astronaut of the Day at any of the following opportunities.  See the Daily Schedule for times when you arrive.

  • The daily Astronaut Encounter briefings allow time for a presentation from the astronaut and a discussion, so bring your questions and your camera.
  • Visitors can also get an astronaut’s autograph at The Space Shop at various times during the day.
  • With an additional purchase, visitors can enjoy an exclusive buffet lunch and group presentation during Dine With An Astronaut. Offered at noon daily, lunch includes a question and answer session and photo opportunities!

Astronaut Bio:

Sherwood “Woody” Spring received a Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering from the United States Military Academy in 1967. After graduation, Spring served two tours of duty in Vietnam. The first was from 1968 to 1969 with the 101st Airborne Division. The second tour, 1970-1971, came immediately after flight school and was served as a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division. He then earned a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1974 and graduated from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in 1976.

Mr. Spring was selected as an astronaut in May 1980. Spring served as a mission specialist on STS-61B in 1985 when he was responsible for launching three communications satellites and performed two extravehicular activities (EVAs). The EVAs, totaling more than 12 hours, investigated space station construction techniques, large structure manipulation while on the end of the remote arm and a time and motion study for comparison between Earth training and space performance. With the completion of STS-61B he logged a total of 165 hours in space.

He was on the Tiger Team for the Challenger accident, which occurred six weeks after his own flight. Following the Challenger accident, Mr. Spring was selected to lead the Army’s Space Program Office. He attended the Defense Systems Acquisition Management Program, and then managed a classified program that brings National Satellite based intelligence directly to the battlefield.

Spring retired from NASA in August 1988, earning many awards and medals throughout his career. He is currently a professor of Engineering, Test and Evaluation, plus Science and Technology Management at the Defense Acquisition University San Diego Campus.

Astronaut Woody Springs portrait

Meet Astronaut Woody Spring


STS-61-B Atlantis

Meet Astronaut Mark Lee

Launch Director Tour of Space Shuttle AtlantisĀ®