Andrew Allen is a retired United States Astronaut and a former United States Marine Corps aviator. He was born Andrew Michael Allen on August 4, 1955 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in 1973 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University in 1977. Allen also received his commission in the United States Marine Corps at Villanova. Upon graduating from flight school, he flew F-4 Phantoms with VMFA-312 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina. He was also assigned as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. He was chosen by the Headquarters Marine Corps for fleet introduction of the F/A-18 Hornet, and was assigned to VMFA-531 in Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California until 1986. During his stay there, he was assigned as the squadron Operations Officer, and also attended the Marine Weapons & Tactics Instructor Course and the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School. Throughout his career with the Navy, he logged over 6,000 flight hours in more than 30 different aircrafts.
In 1988, Allen became a NASA astronaut. His specialized assignments have ranged from Astronaut Office representative to Technical Assistant to the Flight Crew Operations Director and Leader of the Astronaut Support Personnel team. Allen’s first flight was with STS-46 aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. The mission launched on July 31, 1992 and lasted eight days. During the mission, the crew deployed the European Retrievable Carrier, an ESA-sponsored free-flying science platform, and demonstrated the Tethered Satellite System. His second trip to space lasted two weeks during March 1994. STS-62 was a mission aboard Space Shuttle Columbia that consisted of 5 crewmembers who accomplished many science and technology experiments. The primary payloads of the mission were the United States Microgravity Payload 2 and the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology 2 package. The entire mission covered 5.8 million miles in 335.3 hours. His final mission was STS-75 that launched on February 22, 1996. The goal was to regenerate the Tethered Satellite System, which successfully demonstrated the ability of tethers to generate electricity. The crew also worked around the clock performing combustion experiments and research related to USMP-3 microgravity investigations. All in all, Allen’s space missions were successful and added a large contribution to the science and technology realms.
Allen retired from the Marine Corps and left NASA in October 1997. He has since served in various business leadership positions including President of the FIRST Foundation and Associate Program Manager for Ground Operations with United Space Alliance. In 2004, Allen furthered his education and received a Masters in Business Administration degree from the University of Florida. He is currently a Vice President and Program Manager with Honeywell.