(Redirected from William McCool
William C. "Willie" McCool (September 23, 1961 - February 1, 2003) was an United States Navy Commander, NASA astronaut and the Space Shuttle pilot of Columbia mission STS-107 who was killed when the craft disentegrated after re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
McCool was born September 23, 1961 in San Diego, California, and died on February 1, 2003 over the southern United States when Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew perished during entry, 16 minutes prior to scheduled landing. He is survived by his wife and children. He enjoyed running, mountain biking, back country hiking /camping, swimming, playing guitar, and chess.
- U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association.
- Posthumously awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal
- the NASA Distinguished Service Medal
- the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (DDSM)
- the Congressional Space Medal of Freedom.
- Eagle Scout
- Graduated second of 1,083 in the Class of 1983 at the US Naval Academy
- Presented “Outstanding Student” and “Best DT-II Thesis” awards as graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Class 101
- Awarded Navy Commendation Medals (2)
- Awarded Navy Achievement Medals (2)
- Asteroid 51829 Williammccool was posthumously named for McCool
- McCool Hill in the Columbia Hills on Mars was posthumously named for McCool
McCool completed flight training in August 1986 and was assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129 at Whidbey Island, Washington , for initial EA-6B Prowler training. His first operational tour was with Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 133, where he made two deployments aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43) to the Mediterranean Sea, and received designation as a wing qualified landing signal officer (LSO). In November 1989, he was selected for the Naval Postgraduate School/Test Pilot School (TPS) Cooperative Education Program. After graduating from TPS in June 1992, he worked as TA-4J and EA-6B test pilot in Flight Systems Department of Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at Patuxent River, Maryland. He was responsible for the management and conduct of a wide variety of projects, ranging from airframe fatigue life studies to numerous avionics upgrades. His primary efforts, however, were dedicated to flight test of the Advanced Capability (ADVCAP) EA-6B. Following his Patuxent River tour, McCool returned to Whidbey Island, and was assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 132 aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65). He served as Administrative and Operations Officer with the squadron through their work-up cycle, receiving notice of NASA selection while embarked on Enterprise for her final pre-deployment at-sea period.
McCool accumulated over 2,800 hours flight experience in 24 aircraft and over 400 carrier arrestments.
Selected by NASA in April 1996, McCool reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. He completed two years of training and evaluation, and was qualified for flight assignment as a pilot. Initially assigned to the Computer Support Branch, McCool also served as Technical Assistant to the Director of Flight Crew Operations, and worked Shuttle cockpit upgrade issues for the Astronaut Office. He was the pilot on STS-107, logging 15 days, 22 hours and 20 minutes in space.
Space flight experience
STS-107 Columbia (Jan 16 to Feb 1, 2003). The 16-day flight was a dedicated science and research mission. Working 24 hours a day, in two alternating shifts, the crew successfully conducted approximately 80 experiments. The STS-107 mission ended abruptly on February 1, 2003 when Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew perished during entry, 16 minutes before scheduled landing.
- From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it and strive to live as one in peace.