Colonel Hammond flew as pilot of Discovery on STS-39, the first unclassified Department of Defense mission (April 28 to May 6, 1991). He logged 199 hours and 23 minutes of space flight. Recently, he was the pilot on STS-64 aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Hammond was also assigned as Lead Ascent/Entry CAPCOM for missions STS-73 through STS-78. During the same period, Hammond served as the Branch Chief of the Flight Support Branch, supervising CAPCOM and ASP activities. Hammond is currently assigned as the Branch Chief of the Astronaut Office Safety Branch where he monitors all T-38, Shuttle, and Space Station safety issues.
This past Saturday evening Coast to Coast held an unprecedented 9 hour program devoted to looking at the crash of the space shuttle Columbia which had occurred that morning. George Noory hosted the first half of the show, followed by Barbara Simpson in her regular time slot. "The only thing we can be thankful for is they got to fulfill their dreams," Richard C. Hoagland (enterprisemission.com) said of the seven astronauts who died in the accident. Hoagland offered his insights in both halves of the marathon. He was joined by his colleague Mike Bara (lunaranomalies.com), in the latter part of the show, who stated that he thought the Shuttle program has been phenomenally successful, with a good safety record over its more than twenty year history. Phil Plait (badastronomy.com), nicknamed "The Bad Astronomer," who has served to dispel myths about outer space, praised the Shuttle missions for their successful launching of such astronomical satellites as the Chandra Observatory. ... More »Host: George Noory