Cleave, Mary L.

Mary Cleave is an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut. She was born Mary Louise Cleave on February 5, 1947 in Southampton, New York. She graduated from Great Neck North High School in 1965, and then went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Colorado State University in 1969. Two years later, Cleave reported to the Ecology Center and the Utah Water Research Laboratory at Utah State University, where she would hold graduate research, research psychologist, and research engineer assignments for the next nine years. In 1975, she earned a Master of Science degree in Microbial Ecology from Utah State University. In 1979, she earned a doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.

In May 1980, Cleave was selected as a NASA astronaut. She has received various technical assignments, including flight software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory and CAPCOM on five Space Shuttle flights. Her first flight to space was aboard Shuttle Atlantis on STS-61-B. The mission launched on November 26, 1985, and it successfully deployed the MORELOS-B, AUSSAT II, and SATCOM K-2 communications satellites. The crew also performed two six-hour spacewalks and operated experiments for various organizations. The mission ended with a landing on December 3, 1985. Cleave’s second flight was also aboard shuttle Atlantis on STS-30. The mission launched on May 4, 1989 and was a four day mission, during which the crew effectively deployed the Magellan Venus-exploration spacecraft and the first planetary probe to be deployed from the Shuttle. Also, the crew also worked on secondary payloads involving Indium crystal growth, electrical storm, and earth observation studies.

In 1991, Cleave left the Johnson Space Center and went to work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. She worked as the Project Manager for SeaWiFS in the Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes. Currently, she resides in Annapolis Maryland.