Astronaut David A. Wolf, Famous Indianapolis Son

Now that NASA’s shuttles are likely to be retired, it looks as though Astronaut David A. Wolf, famous Indianapolis son, will end up being one of the last American astronauts to fly a shuttle mission, at least for quite some time. David Wolf’s last mission was on the STS-127 Endeavour during July of 2009, a launch that was scheduled for June in 2009, but had to be postponed no less than three times.

Wolf has spent a total of over 4,000 hours in space and has five missions on space shuttles and on the Russian Mir space station under his belt. One of the distinctions he will forever hold is that of being the first American to have cast a ballot from space.

Hear and see Dr. David Wolf, famous astronaut from Indianapolis, in this video interview given on the popular Bob & Tom Show.


Born in 1956 in Indianapolis, state capital of Indiana, Wolf is not only a famous Hoosier and astronaut. He holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Purdue University and a Medical Doctor degree from his studies at Indiana University. Wanting to specialize as a flight surgeon, he trained for that goal in the U.S. Air Force. In 1983, he became a member of the Johnson Space Center’s medical sciences staff, performing research on the effects of microgravity, thus beginning his career with NASA. Dr. Wolf’s responsibilities and stature in the NASA community increased rapidly. For the United States Space Station, Wolf oversaw the design of the medical facility as well as many other important facets of the entire system’s design.

In 1990, Wolf became an official NASA candidate. After intensive training for eighteen months, he went to Florida as a Capcom at the Kennedy Space Center. By 1993, he took his first journey in space on the STS-58 shuttle for the Columbia, as a Mission Specialist. There followed four other space shuttle missions, the  Atlantis’ STS-86, the Endeavour’s STS-89, the Atlantis’ STS-112, and the Endeavour’s STS-127.

Dr. David Wolf was one of the American astronauts chosen to work on board the Russian’s space station called Mir. He learned to speak Russian as part of his training for this mission and spent 128 days aboard, conducting scientific research in his main field of microgravity, among others.

Dr. Wolf is also a distinguished inventor and owns some fifteen patents for new technologies in tissue engineering. During his career, he was named NASA Inventor of the Year and received a NASA medal for Exceptional Engineering Achievement. He’s the author of more than 40 published technical papers.

Indy‘s renowned “rocket scientist” son, David Wolf, has become a public figure in his home town, giving back to Indianapolis society and culture. He can be seen around  the Circle City offering inspiring talks and signing autographs, such as an appearance in December of 2009 at the Arthur M. Glick Jewish Community Center and a special public appearance, his first, at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum‘s for a Lilly Theatre presentation last August.

Famous Indianapolis son, David Wolf, appears in this video made at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum


Indianapolis has honored Dr. Wolf by renaming the “David Wolf Bridge” for him. It can be found in the Castleton district on 82nd Street.

Dr. David Wolf is among the most famous Indianapolis people who graduated from Indianapolis’ North Central High School, an alumni who will long give the youth and children of Indianapolis aspirations of the highest and most universal order.