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March 1

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Who Is Carlos I. Noriega? The Inspiring Story of a NASA Astronaut and Veteran.

Introduction

Carlos I. Noriega is a retired NASA astronaut and veteran who has accomplished several impressive feats during his career. He has served as a commander, pilot, and mission specialist, and has also received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to space exploration and the US military. In this post, we will explore Carlos’ inspiring story and the key moments that have helped shape his life and career.

Early Life and Education

Born on October 8th, 1959, in Lima, Peru, Carlos Noriega spent much of his childhood in Chula Vista, California. He excelled in sports, particularly in baseball and soccer, and also showed an interest in science and technology from a young age. Carlos eventually enrolled in the University of Southern California, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1981. He later pursued a Master’s degree in space systems management at the University of Southern California and received his wings as a naval aviator in 1984.

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Carlos’ Career in the Military

Carlos Noriega dedicated more than 17 years of his life to serving in the US military, including the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy. In 1991, he was selected to attend the prestigious U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, where he eventually became a project test pilot for the SH-60 Seahawk helicopter and a member of the Navy’s first SH-60B Seahawk detachment. Carlos also served during Operation Desert Storm and was awarded the Air Medal for his service.

Carlos’ Career at NASA

From 1996 to 2000, Carlos Noriega worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He was selected as part of the 16th group of astronauts in 1994 and went on to complete two successful spaceflights: STS-84 on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in May 1997 and STS-97 on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in November 2000. During his time at NASA, Carlos worked as a mission specialist and shuttle pilot and participated in a variety of experiments and research initiatives.

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Inspiring Moments from Carlos’ Career

Throughout his career, Carlos Noriega has demonstrated incredible bravery, skill, and determination. Some of his most inspiring moments include:

– Participating in the historic docking between the US Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Space Station Mir during STS-84.
– Performing a spacewalk and installing a massive solar array on the International Space Station during STS-97.
– Leading a US Navy helicopter squadron during the Gulf War and earning the Air Medal for his bravery.
– Serving as a pilot, project test pilot, and technical advisor for various military aircraft, including the SH-60 Seahawk, A-6 Intruder, and F-14 Tomcat.

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Awards and Honors

Carlos Noriega’s remarkable career has been recognized with numerous awards and honors over the years. Some of the most notable include:

– The Air Medal for his service in Operation Desert Storm.
– The Defense Superior Service Medal for his work as a project test pilot for the SH-60 Seahawk helicopter.
– The NASA Space Flight Medal for his successful spaceflights on the Space Shuttle Atlantis and Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Life after NASA and Military Service

Carlos Noriega retired from NASA and the military in 2005 and has since worked as a consultant in the aerospace industry. He has also been active in various veteran organizations and participates in public speaking engagements around the US, sharing his experiences and insights on space exploration and military service.

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Conclusion

Carlos Noriega is a true American hero and an inspiration to individuals across the world. His dedication to service, passion for science and technology, and unwavering bravery have made a lasting impact on the fields of space exploration and military aviation. We can all learn from his remarkable career and the lessons he has shared through his work.

FAQs

1. What is Carlos Noriega’s background?
Carlos Noriega is a retired NASA astronaut and veteran who was born in Lima, Peru, and spent much of his childhood in Chula Vista, California. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Southern California and received his wings as a naval aviator in 1984.

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2. What are some of Carlos Noriega’s notable achievements?
Carlos Noriega has completed two successful spaceflights on the Space Shuttle Atlantis and Space Shuttle Endeavour, participated in the historic docking between the US Space Shuttle and the Russian Space Station Mir, and earned numerous awards and honors, including the NASA Space Flight Medal.

3. What was Carlos Noriega’s role in the military?
Carlos Noriega spent more than 17 years serving in the US military, including the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy. He served during Operation Desert Storm and led a US Navy helicopter squadron during the Gulf War.

4. What is Carlos Noriega doing now?
Carlos Noriega is retired from NASA and the military and has since worked as a consultant in the aerospace industry. He also participates in public speaking engagements and remains active in various veteran organizations.

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5. What can we learn from Carlos Noriega’s career?
Carlos Noriega’s dedication to service, passion for science and technology, and unwavering bravery serve as a model for individuals across the world. We can all learn from his remarkable career and the lessons he has shared through his work in space exploration and military aviation.

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