Vance D. Brand

Born May 9, 1931, in Longmont, Colorado
BS in Business and Aeronautical Engineering from University of Colorado MS in Business Administration from University of California at Los Angeles

About the Man

Vance Brand was a commissioned officer and naval aviator with the USMC from 1953 to 1957. His military assignments included a 15-month tour in Japan as a jet fighter pilot. Following his release from active duty, Brand continued in the Marine Corps Reserve and the Air National Guard jet fighter squadrons until 1964.

Brand was then employed as a civilian by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation from 1960 to 1966. He worked first as a flight test engineer on the Navy's P3A aircraft. In 1963, Brand graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School and assigned to Palmdale, California as an experimental test pilot on Canadian and German F-104 programs. He worked at the West German F-104G Flight Test Center at Istres, France as an experimental test pilot and leader of a Lockheed flight test advisory group.

Brand logged 9,669 flying hours, which includes 8,089 hours in jets, 391 hours in helicopters, 746 hours in spacecraft, and checkout in more than 30 types of military aircraft.

NASA selected Vance D. Brand as one of 19 pilot astronauts in April of 1966. Brand flew on four space missions; Apollo-Soyuz, STS-5, STS 41-B, and STS-35.

About the Spaceflights

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

Apollo Soyuz liftoff
July 15 to 24, 1975

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the First International Manned Spaceflight. Brand was the command module pilot for the first Apollo Docking Module Pilot for ASTP. The flight ended with the first meeting in space between American astronauts and Soviet Cosmonauts. Two days after liftoff Apollo and Soyuz 19 rendezvoused and docked over Europe. For forty-four hours, the ships remained connected.

The Apollo crew conducted crew transfers with cosmonauts Aleksey A. Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov. The crews also completed a number of joint scientific experiments and engineering investigations. They also tested a compatible rendezvous system and androgynous docking assemblies in orbit.

Flight Duration: Nine days, six hours, twenty-eight minues, and 23 seconds

Pictured: Apollo Flight Crew; Vance D. Brand, Donald K. Slayton, Thomas P. Stafford
Soyuz Flight Crew; Alexey A. Leonov, Valery N. Kubasov


November 11 - November 16, 1982

STS 5 crew; Vance D. Brand, Commander; Robert F. Overmyer, Pilot; Joseph P. Allen, Mission Specialist, and William B. Lenoir, Mission Specialist

The crew of STS 5 deployed two commercial communications satellites, each equipped with Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) solid rocket motor, which fired about 45 minutes after deployment, placing each satellite into highly elliptical orbit. They also conducted One Get Away Special and three Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments.


February 3 - February 11, 1984

STS 41B crew: Vance D. Brand, Commander; Robert L. Gibson, Pilot; Bruce McCandless II, Mission Specialist; Ronald E. McNair, Mission Specialist and Robert L. Stewart, Mission Specialist

STS-41B was the first Kennedy Space Center landing. First untethered space walks by McCandless and Stewart, using manned maneuvering unit. STS-41B payloads included Acoustic Containerless Experiment System (ACES); Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR); and Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME), and Isoelectric Focusing (IEF) payload.

Flight Duration: 7 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes, 55 seconds.


December 2 - December 10, 1990

STS-35 Crew: Vance D. Brand, Commander; Guy S. Gardner, Pilot; Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Mission Specialist 1; John M. Lounge, Mission Specialist 2; Robert A. Parker, Mission Specialist 3; Samuel T. Durrance, Payload Specialist 1 amd Ronald A. Parise, Payload Specialist 2

Primary objectives were round-the-clock observations of celestial sphere in ultraviolet and X-ray astronomy with ASTRO-1 observatory consisting of four telescopes

Duration: 8 days, 23 hours, 5 minutes, 8 seconds

After Flight

Brand logged 746 hours in space and has commanded three Shuttle missions. He departed the Astronaut Office in 1992 to become Chief of Plans at the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) Joint Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. In September 1994, he moved to California to become Assistant Chief of Flight Operations at the Dryden Flight Research Center, then Acting Chief Engineer, Deputy Director for Aerospace Projects and finally Acting Associate Center Director for Programs.

Vance D.Brand retired from NASA in January 2008.


Click on the patches to read about Vance D. Brand's historic spaceflights
in more detail at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Website.



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