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.
Astronaut Steve Smith traveled to space four times during NASA's Space Shuttle Program with seven spacewalks totaling 49 hours and 25 minutes to his credit. His extensive spacewalk time places him second on the American and third on the World spacewalk duration record lists. Smith joined NASA in 1989 as a payload officer in the Mission Operations Directorate. He applied to the astronaut program five times before being accepted in 1992. Selected as an astronaut candidate, Smith received his first flight assignment in September 1993. Smith was also assigned to duties at Kennedy Space Center as a member of the astronaut support team. Smith served as a mission specialist aboard STS-68 Endeavour, performed three spacewalks for STS-82 Discovery to perform repair work on Hubble Space Telescope, served as payload commander for STS-103 Discovery and helped install a truss on the International Space Station for his final flight, STS-110 Atlantis in 2002.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Smith grew up in San Jose, California, and resides there today. Smith graduated from Stanford in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1982 and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University in 1987.