Rick Husband, 45, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, was a test pilot and veteran of one spaceflight. He served as commander for STS-107. Husband received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1980 and a master of science in mechanical engineering from California State University-Fresno in 1990. As commander, Husband was responsible for the overall conduct of the mission. During the mission, he maneuvered Columbia as part of several experiments in the shuttle's payload bay that focused on the Earth and the Sun. He was also the senior member of the Red Team and worked with the following experiments: European Research In Space and Terrestrial Osteoporosis (ERISTO); Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX); Osteoporosis Experiment in Orbit (OSTEO); the Physiology and Biochemistry Team (PhAB4) suite of experiments, which included Calcium Kinetics, Latent Virus Shedding, Protein Turnover and Renal Stone Risk; and Shuttle Ozone Limb Sounding Experiment (SOLSE-2).
Selected by NASA in December 1994, Husband served as the pilot of STS-96 in 1999 - a 10-day mission during which the crew performed the first docking with the International Space Station. Prior to STS-107, Husband logged more than 235 hours in space.