Meet Astronaut Bob Springer
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!
Robert C. Springer is a veteran of both NASA and the United States Marine Corps. He has logged more than 6,500 flying hours in his career, including as a mission specialist on two space shuttle flights, the STS-29 mission aboard Discovery and the STS-38 mission aboard Atlantis.
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Springer was commissioned into the U.S. Marines and achieved the rank of colonel. He served two tours in Vietnam, where he completed more than 300 combat missions flying F-4 phantoms and more than 250 missions flying helicopters. He served as a test pilot for more than 20 different aircraft during his military career. In 1980, Springer was selected to be an astronaut by NASA. He worked as orbit Capsule Communicator, or CAPCOM, in the Mission Control Center for seven flights between 1984 and 1985. His responsibility was to relay complex information from Mission Control in a concise message to the orbiting astronauts.
Springer's first mission, STS-29 aboard Discovery, launched March 13, 1989. While in orbit, the crew deployed a tracking and data relay satellite. In addition, the crew of STS-29 performed several student experiments and took more than 4,000 photographs of Earth, including IMAX movie images. His second mission, STS-38 aboard Atlantis, launched November 15, 1990, and was a Department of Defense classified mission.
Springer is a strong advocate of education and vigorously promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in support of the United States space program. He serves on numerous boards and councils related to education. Currently, Springer is the president of Springer Consulting and specializes in aerospace consultation and motivational speaking.