Michael Lampton


Michael L. Lampton
Michael Lampton, Astronaut.jpg
Born (1941-03-01) March 1, 1941 (age 80)
OccupationPhysicist, Space Sciences Laboratory
Space career
UC Berkeley Payload Specialist
MissionsSTS-9, STS-45
Mission insignia

Michael Logan Lampton (born March 1, 1941) is an American astronaut, founder of the optical ray tracing company Stellar Software, and known for his paper on electroacoustics with Susan M Lea, The theory of maximally flat loudspeaker systems.[1]


Lampton was born March 1, 1941 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.[2] He is married to San Francisco State University physicist, Dr. Susan M. Lea, with whom he has one daughter, Jennifer Lea Lampton.[3]


SNAP Project

Lampton has been heavily involved with the SNAP project.[4] SNAP, the Supernova/Acceleration Probe, will study exploding stars called supernovae, as well as the gentle smearing of the light from distant galaxies due to gravity — called weak gravitational lensing — and put limits on what may or may not be the force driving the outward pull on the Universe. SNAP will investigate over one thousand square degrees of sky with a 500 megapixel camera.[5]

SNAP is part of the Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), which is a cooperative venture between NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy. SNAP collaborators John Mather and George Smoot were awarded the 2006 Nobel prize in physics.[6]

Career with NASA

Lampton was a NASA payload specialist from 1978 to 1992.[2] Below is a list of the missions he was a part of.

Year Mission Position
1983 STS-9/Columbia selected and served as backup payload specialist[7]
1985 STS-51-H/Spacelab EOM 1 mission selected as payload specialist (mission cancelled after the technical problems)
1986 STS-61-K/Spacelab EOM 1-2 mission selected as payload specialist (mission cancelled after the Challenger accident)[8]
1989 STS-45/ATLAS-1 selected as payload specialist (the same mission as STS-61K—but renamed), replaced by backup payload specialist Dirk Frimout due to medical problems [9]


In 1961, while Lampton was attending Caltech he was one of the "Fiendish Fourteen", 14 students responsible for the Great Rose Bowl Hoax.


  1. ^ Lea, S.; Lampton, M. (1972). "The theory of maximally flat loudspeaker systems". IEEE Transactions on Audio and Electroacoustics. ieeexplore.ieee.org. 20 (3): 200–203. doi:10.1109/TAU.1972.1162374.
  2. ^ a b Joachim Becker. "Astronaut Biography: Michael Lampton". spacefacts.de. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  3. ^ "Dr. Susan Lea".
  4. ^ Lampton, M; Collaboration, SNAP (2002). "[astro-ph/0209549] The SNAP Telescope". arXiv:astro-ph/0209549.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-07-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 2006". nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  7. ^ "home/hqnews/1990/90-072". nasa.gov. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  8. ^ "flights/sts61k". astronautix.com. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  9. ^ "NASA - ATLAS-1: The First Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science". nasa.gov. Retrieved 2016-07-22.