Space Shuttle Columbia STS- 107 was Anderson ‘s second trip into space. He served as the STS-107 payload commander. His first space flight occurred in 1998 when he flew as a mission specialist on Space Shuttle Endeavour during STS-89. That flight was the eighth Shuttle/Mir mission. Anderson spent 8 days, 19 hours and 47 minutes in space.
Born in 1959 in Plattsburgh , N.Y. , but he considered Spokane , Wash. , to be his hometown. His dad was in the Air Force, and Anderson was exposed to aviation as a kid. He said that science caught his attention when he was young. These interests were two of the reasons why he wanted to be an astronaut.
Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree in physics/astronomy from Washington in 1981. Then, he received a commission from the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant.
During his stint in the Air Force, Anderson received a master’s degree in physics in 1990 from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Anderson flew various models of the KC-135 and the T-38A aircraft, logging more than 3,000 hours of flight time. He also became an instructor pilot.
Anderson fulfilled his dream of becoming an astronaut in late 1994 when NASA selected him as an astronaut candidate.