Alan Goodwin “Dex” Poindexter, a Captain in the United States Navy, was born on November 5, 1961 in Pasadena, California. He considered Rockville, Maryland to be his hometown. His interests included motorcycling, running, weight lifting, boating, hunting and fishing. He was a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Association of Space Explorers.
In 2002 he was named as Pilot on STS-120 mission to deliver the Harmony connecting node to the International Space Station; an assignment which abruptly ended with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster just two months later.
Following his retirement from NASA in 2010 he returned to service in the United States Navy, where he held the position of Dean of Students at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Poindexter died on July 1, 2012 due to injuries he received from a personal watercraft accident in Little Sabine Bay off Pensacola Beach, Florida.
- Pilot, STS-122, Atlantis, February 7-20, 2008. Delivery and installation of the European Space Agency (ESA) Columbus Laboratory. 24th shuttle mission to the ISS.
- Commander, STS-131, Discovery, April 5-20, 2010. Resupply mission to the International Space Station, returned with Leonardo Multipurpose-Logistics Module. 33rd shuttle mission to the ISS. Last night launch of a shuttle.
Total Hours in Space: 669+
Astronaut Group: 17-June 4, 1998
Degrees: Associate degree, engineering, Pensacola Junior College, 1983. Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology with highest honors, 1986; MS, Aeronautical Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School, 1995.
Military Service and Awards: He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1988 and reported to Fighter Squadron 124, Naval Air Station Miramar, California, for transition to the F-14 Tomcat. Following his initial training, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 211, also at Miramar, and made two deployments to the Arabian Gulf during Operations Desert Storm and Southern Watch. He was serving as a test pilot when he was selected to be an astronaut, having flown 4,000 hours in more than 30 different aircraft types, including more than 450 aircraft carrier landings. Two Legion of Merit awards, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, NASA Aviation Safety Award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Interred at Arlington National Cemetery: November 13, 2012
How to locate: Walking south on Eisenhower Drive near the visitors center, you will see McClellan Gate on your right, which is also the intersection with McClellan Drive. Turn left on McClellan Drive, then the first right onto Halsey Drive, and then a left on York Drive. The gravesite is in the middle of this section north to south, and closer to Marshall Drive. With the columbarium behind you it is the third grave in from the right side of the pathway that runs east to west through the section.