Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Walz became an astronaut in July 1991. Since then he has worked Flight Data File issues for the Mission Support Branch of the Astronaut Office, and has served in mission control as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM). A veteran of two space flights, Walz has logged over 590 hours (24.5 days) in space. He served as a mission specialist on STS-51 (Sep 12-22, 1993). On STS-65 (July 8-23, 1994), he was the flight engineer (MS-2) on the Orbiter.
On STS-51, the crew of five aboard Shuttle Discovery deployed the U.S. Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), and the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS) with NASA and German scientific experiments aboard. On flight day five Walz participated in a space walk (EVA) to evaluate tools for the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Following a seven-hour EVA the crew initiated rendezvous burns and recovered the SPAS. Following 158 orbits of the Earth, the mission concluded with the first night landing at the Kennedy Space Center. Mission duration was 9 days, 22 hours, and 12 minutes.
On STS-65 the seven-member crew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 8, 1994, and returned there on July 23, 1994, setting a new flight duration record for the Space Shuttle program. The STS-65 mission flew the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) spacelab module. During the 15-day flight the crew conducted more than 80 experiments focusing on materials and life sciences research in microgravity. The mission was accomplished in 236 orbits of the Earth, traveling 6.1 million miles.