David M. Brown

David McDowell Brown ( born April 16, 1956 in Arlington, Virginia, USA; † 1 February 2003 on the south of the United States ) was an American astronaut. He died in the crash of the Columbia in the spring of 2003.

Brown attended until 1974, the Yorktown High School in Arlington and then studied at the College of William and Mary, where he received a bachelor's degree in biology in 1978. In 1982, he finally received a doctorate in medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Brown joined for an internship at the Medical University of South Carolina in the U.S. Navy. After training as a flight surgeon in 1984 he was senior physician at the Naval Hospital in Adak (Alaska). Then he became the Carrier Air Wing 15 assigned aboard the USS Carl Vinson, which was patrolling in the West Pacific. From 1988, he was trained in Beeville (Texas ) for Navy pilots. Two years later he received his pilot's license as a class leader. He was then trained in Beeville for the A -6E Intruder. In 1991 he was transferred to the Naval Strike Warfare Center in Fallon (Nevada ), where he was employed as an instructor and planning officer. In addition, he received training on the F/A-18 Hornet and flew in 1992 aboard the USS Independence Japan before the A- 6E in Strike Fighter Squadron 115 in 1995, he was transferred as their flight surgeon in the United States Naval Test Pilot School. He also flew the T-38 Talon.

Astronauts activity

Brown was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in May 1996 and was used from August 1996 at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. He completed a two-year astronaut training, which qualified him as a mission specialist. He was assigned to the beginning of the payload development for the International Space Station. Later he was a member of the support team for the Space Shuttle flights.

STS -107

Brown and six other astronauts launched on 16 January 2003 with the Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS - 107. On this 16-day research mission about 80 scientific experiments were carried out. At the start of the Space Shuttle, however, a foam piece had come loose from the external tank and hit the port wing of the orbiter. The damage was indeed observed, but was classified by NASA as not critical. As the shuttle returned to Earth on Feb. 1, penetrated by a damaged heat tile hot gases into the wing and melted it from the inside. The shuttle was out of control and broke into the atmosphere. David Brown and the other crew members were killed.


David Brown was awarded in July 2004, posthumously, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. In addition, the asteroid ( 51825 ) David Brown was named after him.