US astronaut. His three space shuttle flights include the Challenger mission of October 1984 that demonstrated the feasibility of satellite refuelling. Leestma was selected as an astronaut in 1980, and in 1998 became deputy director of engineering at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). In 2001, he became JSC project manager for the Space Launch Initiative and is now assistant programme manager for the Orbital Space Plane.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.