Jul 27, 2021
DANIEL W. BURSCH (CAPTAIN, USN, Ret.)
"Living in Space; Six and a Half Months off the Planet"

PERSONAL DATA: Born July 25, 1957, in Bristol, Pennsylvania, but considers Vestal, New York, to be his hometown. Dan is married to Sharon Yencharis. Four children, two grandchildren. His mother, Betsy Bursch, and father, Dudley Bursch, are deceased.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Vestal Senior High School, Vestal, New York, in 1975; received a bachelor of science degree in physics from the United States Naval Academy in 1979, and a master of science degree in engineering science from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1991.  Distinguished graduate, U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

EXPERIENCE: Bursch graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1979, and was designated a naval flight officer in April 1980 at Pensacola, Florida. After initial training as an A-6E Intruder bombardier/navigator (B/N), he reported to Attack Squadron 34 in January 1981, and deployed to the Mediterranean aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, and to the North Atlantic and Indian Oceans aboard the USS America. He attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in January 1984. Upon graduation in December he worked as a project test flight officer flying the A-6 Intruder until August 1985, when he returned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School as a flight instructor. In April 1987, Bursch was assigned to the Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 1, as Strike Operations Officer, making deployments to the Indian Ocean aboard the USS Long Beach and the USS Midway. Redesignated an Aeronautical Engineering Duty officer (AEDO), he attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, from July 1989 until his selection to the astronaut program.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in January 1990, Bursch became an astronaut in July 1991. His technical assignments included: Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch, working on controls and displays for the Space Shuttle and Space Station; Chief of Astronaut Appearances; spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in mission control. A veteran of four space flights, Bursch has logged over 227 days in space. He was a mission specialist on STS-51 (1993), STS-68 (1994) and STS-77 (1996) and served as flight engineer on the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition-Four (2001-2002). Dan Bursch and fellow astronaut Carl Walz have one of the longest single flights for US astronauts: 196 days in space. In January 2003, Bursch reported to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA for a two-year assignment as an instructor in the Space Systems Academic Group.  In June 2004 he was appointed Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  Bursch retired from the Navy in July 2005 after 26 years of service.  He then joined the Aerospace Corporation and served as the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Advisor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey until his retirement in 2019.