James F. Buchli

Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
Born on June 20, 1945, in New Rockford, ND
BS in aeronautical engineering from US Naval Academy
MS in aeronautical engineering systems from University of West Florida

About the Man

Buchli received his commission in the United States Marine Corps following graduation from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1967. He graduated from U.S. Marine Corps Basic Infantry Course and was subsequently sent to the Republic of Vietnam for a 1-year tour of duty, where he served as Platoon Commander, 9th Marine Regiment, and then as Company Commander and Executive Officer, "B" Company, 3rd Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion.

He returned to the United States in 1969 for naval flight officer training at Pensacola, Florida, and spent the next 2 years assigned to Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 122, at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and Iwakuni, Japan; and in 1973, he proceeded to duty with Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 115 at Namphong, Thailand, and Iwakuni, Japan.

Upon completing this tour of duty, he again returned to the United States and participated in the Marine Advanced Degree Program at the University of West Florida. He was assigned subsequently to Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 312 at the Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, and in 1977, to the U.S. Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Maryland.

He has logged over 4,200 hours flying time -- 4,000 hours in jet aircraft.

Buchli became a NASA astronaut in August 1979. He was a member of the support crew for STS-1 and STS-2, and On-Orbit CAPCOM for STS-2. A veteran of four space flights, Buchli has orbited the earth 319 times, traveling 7.74 million miles in 20 days, 10 hours, 25 minutes, 32 seconds. He served as a mission specialist on STS-51C (January 24-27, 1995), STS-61A (October 30 to November 6, 1985), STS-29 (March 13-18, 1989), and STS-48 (Sep 12-18, 1991). From March 1989 till May 1992 he also served as Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office.

Buchli's cumulative hours of space flight are more than 490.

On 1 September 1992 Buchli retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and the NASA Astronaut Office to accept a position as Manager, Space Station Systems Operations and Requirements with Boeing Defense and Space Group, Huntsville, Alabama. In April 1993, he was reassigned as Boeing Deputy for Payload Operations, Space Station Freedom Program. Buchli currently serves as Operations & Utilization Manager for Space Station, Boeing Defense and Space Group, Houston, Texas.

About the Spaceflights

STS 51-C

January 24 - January 27, 1985

STS 51-C Discovery, was the first dedicated Department of Defense mission.

Launched January 24, 1985, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, STS-51C performed its DOD mission which included deployment of a modified Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) vehicle from the Space Shuttle.

Landing occurred on January 27, 1985, after slightly more than three days on orbit.

Mission duration was 73 hours, 33 minutes, 27 seconds.


October 30 to Novenber 6, 1985

STS-61A Challenger was a West German D-1 Spacelab mission, the first to carry eight crew members, the largest crew to fly in space, and the first in which payload activities were controlled from outside the United States.

More than 75 scientific experiments were completed in the areas of physiological sciences, materials processing, biology, and navigation.

Mission duration was 168 hours, 44 minutes, 51 seconds.


March 13-18, 1989

STS-29 Discovery was a highly successful five day mission during which the crew deployed a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, and performed numerous secondary experiments, including a space station "heat pipe" radiator experiment, two student experiments, a protein crystal growth experiment, and a chromosome and plant cell division experiment.

In addition, the crew took over 3,000 photographs of the earth using several types of cameras, including the IMAX 70 mm movie camera.

Mission duration was 119 hours, 39 minutes, 40 seconds.


September 12-18, 1991

STS-48 Discovery was a five day mission during which the crew deployed the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) designed to provide scientists with their first complete data set on the upper atmosphere's chemistry, winds and energy inputs.

The crew also conducted numerous secondary experiments ranging from growing protein crystals, to studying how fluids and structures react in weightlessness.

Mission duration was 128 hours, 27 minutes; 34 seconds.

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