Archambault, Lee

Lee Archambault is an American test pilot and NASA astronaut. He was born Lee Joseph Archambault on August 25, 1960 in Oak Park, Illinois. He graduated from Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois in 1978. After graduating, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1982. He continued his education there and earned a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering in 1984.

Archambault joined the United States Air Force, and after training at the Air Force Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, he received a commission of Second Lieutenant. Upon completion, he attended the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard Air Force Base and earned his pilot wings in April 1986. He then reported to Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, where he served in the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing as a combat ready F-111D pilot until April 1990. In May of that same year, he moved to the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing at Nellis Air Force Base/Tonopah Test Range, Nevada. Then, in November 1990, Archambault was deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm. There he flew twenty-two combat missions in the F-117A, returned to the US in April 1991, and finally served a second F-117A tour in Saudi Arabia from August 1991 to December 1991. In August 1992, Archambault was reassigned to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, where he served as an F-117A instructor pilot and operational test pilot for the 57th Wing. Archambault also attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California, and then left for Florida in 1995 to serve the 46th Test Wing at the Air Force Development Test Center at Eglin Air Force Base performing weapons developmental flight tests in F-16s. Archambault is currently a colonel in the United States Air Force.

In June 1998, Archambault was chosen as an Astronaut Candidate by NASA, and he reported for training two months later. In June 1999, Archambault was assigned to the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch to work on flight mechanism upgrades. In September 2001, Archambault received an additional assignment to the Shuttle Branch to serve as an Astronaut Support Person. He then picked up duties as a CAPCOM in 2004.

His first space flight was as the pilot for STS-117, which was the 118th mission of the Space Shuttle program. It launched on June 8, 2007 and headed to the International Space Station, where they delivered the S3/S4 truss segment and swapped a long duration crew member. They returned to Edwards Air Force Base two weeks later. Almost two years later, Archambault was assigned commander of STS-119’s Space Shuttle. They launched on March 15, 2009 and delivered the final set of solar arrays to the space station. They also sent off long duration crew member Koichi Wakata. The mission landed at Kennedy Space Center on March 28, 2009 after traveling a total of 5.3 million miles. Archambault is still working with NASA, and is married with three children.