David M. Brown Papers 1980-2003


Collection Item Summary:

This collection consists of fifteen cubic feet of archival material documenting Brown's astronaut training career, including Brown's diaries, manuals, checklists, certificates, workbooks, notebooks and related training materials.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • Astronautics
  • Manned space flight
  • Space shuttles

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions on access


Brown, David M


United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Physical description

11.76 cubic feet (33 boxes)


  • 1980
  • 1980-2002
  • 1980-2003
  • 20th century


David M. Brown (1956 -2003) was born in Arlington, Virginia. Brown received his bachelor of science degree in biology from the College of William and Mary in 1978, and a doctorate in medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1982. Brown joined the Navy and after completing his flight surgeon training in 1984, he reported to the Navy Branch Hospital in Adak, Alaska, as Director of Medical Services. He was then assigned to Carrier Airwing Fifteen which deployed aboard the USS Carl Vinson. In 1988, he was chosen for pilot training and he was designated a naval aviator in 1990, ranking first in his class. Brown was then sent for training and carrier qualification in the Grumman A-6E Intruder. In 1991 he served as the Strike Leader Attack Training Syllabus Instructor at the Naval Strike Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada. Brown was also qualified in the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet and was deployed from Japan in 1992 aboard the USS Independence flying the Grumman A-6E Intruder with VA-115. In 1995, he reported to the US Naval Test Pilot School as their flight surgeon. Brown logged over 2,700 flight hours with 1,700 in high performance military aircraft. He was qualified as first pilot in NASA's Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft. Brown was selected by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's (NASA) Astronaut Selection Program in April 1995. He completed two years of training and was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. He was initially assigned to support payload development for the International Space Station, followed by the astronaut support team responsible for orbiter cockpit setup, crew strap-in, and landing recovery. Brown 's first space flight was aboard the STS-107 Columbia (January 16 to February 1, 2003), which was dedicated to science and research. The STS-107 mission ended abruptly when the Columbia and her crew were lost during reentry, 16 minutes before the scheduled landing. Brown was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

Cite as

David M. Brown Papers, Accession 2006-0013, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Repository Loc.

National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560


  • Correspondence
  • Collection descriptions
  • Photographs
  • Periodicals
  • Technical manuals

Local number


Finding Aids

Online Finding Aid

Explore the collection