Born February 23, 1959, in Omaha, Nebraska, Clayton considers Ashland, Nebraska, to be his hometown. He is married to the former Susan Jane Harreld of Elkhart, Indiana and they have two children: a son, Clayton “Cole,” and a daughter, Sutton Marie.
A 1977 graduate of Ashland-Greenwood High School in eastern Nebraska, Clayton attended Hastings College, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1981. He then received a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University in 1983.
Active throughout his community, Anderson is a member of the Association of Space Explorers and serves on the Hastings College (Nebraska) Board of Trustees while continuing to referee High School basketball in Texas.
Anderson was recently awarded the Tom Osborne Leadership Award from Leadership Hastings; served as a Judge for the 2012 Miss Nebraska Pageant and has been named to the Ak-Sar-Ben Court of Honor by the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation in 2011.
A recipient of numerous NASA Spaceflight and Exceptional Service Medals he has also been recognized by the Russian Federation, through the receipt of their Medal for Merit in Space Exploration. An Outstanding alumnus of both Iowa State and Hasting College, he has also been awarded the Charles Bessey Medal from the University of Nebraska and has an Honorary doctorate degree from Hastings College.
Anderson joined NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 1983 in the Mission Planning and Analysis Division, performing rendezvous and proximity operations trajectory designs for early space shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) missions. Moving rapidly through the management ranks, he held the post of Manager, Emergency Operations Center, NASA Johnson Space Center just prior to his selection as an astronaut.
Selected as a Mission Specialist by NASA in June of 1998, Anderson is a veteran of two space flights. In 2007 he rode the Space Shuttle Atlantis to orbit, ultimately spending a 5-month tour of duty living and working aboard the International Space Station (ISS), returning to Earth with the STS-120 crew on Space Shuttle Discovery.
He returned to the ISS in 2010 with the crew of STS-131 on Discovery where they executed a 15 day resupply mission. Anderson has logged 167 days in space and 38 hours and 28 minutes of Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) through the execution of six spacewalks, placing him 27th on the world record list for cumulative time working in the vacuum of outer space.
Mr. Anderson retired from NASA in January of 2013 to pursue other interests.
- For the Beauty of the Earth
- Spaceflight; The Long and Short of It
- So, You Wanna Be an Astronaut?
- What has Space Done for You Lately?
- The Dream of a Lifetime
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