Duane Carey is an engineer, former Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, and former NASA Astronaut. He was born Duane Gene “Digger” Carey on April 30, 1957 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He graduated from Highland Park High School in 1975 and went on to continue his education at the University of Minnesota. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics in 1981 and his Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from in 1982.
Carey graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1983, after receiving his commission from the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He toured at England Air Force Base, Louisiana, and Suwon Air Base, Republic of Korea, where he flew the A-10A. He completed F-16 training in 1988 and was subsequently assigned to Torrejon Air Base in Spain. In 1991, Carey was accepted to the United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. After his graduation in 1992, he worked as an F-16 experimental test pilot and System Safety Officer on base.
NASA selected Carey as an astronaut candidate in April 1996. Four months later, he reported to the NASA Johnson Space Center to complete training and evaluation. His first assignments were technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems and Operations Branch. In 2002, Carey flew his first and only mission to space aboard shuttle Columbia. STS-109 launched on March 1, 2002 as the fourth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. After five days and five EVAs, the crew effectively installed a new power unit, camera, and solar trays to the telescope. STS-109 orbited the Earth 165 times before landing back on Earth on March 12, 2002.
Carey retired from NASA in 2004. He is married to Cheryl Ann Tobritzhofer and together they have two children. Carey currently teaches students about his experience as an astronaut.