Steve Nagel is currently serving at the University of Missouri in Columbia under the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Engineering, and is also an instructor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He recently retired from NASA after a 33 year career at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Mr. Nagel attended the University of Illinois where he earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering in 1969. He later earned a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Fresno State University, California. Commissioned in the Air Force upon graduation, he attended pilot training and flew various aircraft including the F-100, T-28, and A-7D before attending Air Force Test Pilot School in 1975.
After serving as a test pilot, Nagel was selected in the first group of Shuttle astronauts and moved to Houston in 1978. While at NASA he served in a number of technical assignments and flew on four Shuttle missions. The first mission, STS-51G was flown on Discovery in June 1985. On that mission Nagel was a mission specialist and participated in the deployment of four satellites and a rendezvous/retrieval of one of the satellites. In November of that year he flew as pilot on Challenger/STS-61A, a German sponsored mission that carried the European built Spacelab.
In April 1991 he commanded STS-37 on Atlantis, a mission to deploy the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. His last mission was flown as commander of STS-55 on Columbia, the second and final German sponsored Spacelab mission. He logged a total of 723 hours in space.
After leaving the Astronaut Office in 1995, Nagel served as a Deputy Director of Safety and Quality Assurance at Johnson Space Center for two years, then returned to flying at the NASA Aircraft Operations Division at Ellington Field in Houston. There he flew the T-38, Gulfstream 2 and 3 aircraft, as well as the Shuttle Training Aircraft, a highly modified G-2 that simulated the Shuttle approach and landing. Nagel also served as the Aviation Safety Officer, Chief of Safety, and the Deputy Division Chief during his years at Aircraft Operations.
At the end of his professional flying career, Nagel had logged approximately 12,700 hours flying time.