STS-128 Mission Specialist
Born in 1966, Olivas is married and has 5 children. He enjoys running, weightlifting, hunting, fishing and surfing. With a doctorate in mechanical engineering and materials science he has had various roles as a mechanical/materials engineer.
He worked at the US Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a senior research engineer, making advancements in the evaluation of microelectronics and structural materials for use in space, and then as Program Manager in the evaluation of the reliability and susceptibility of microelectronics for use in future NASA projects.
Olivas was selected by NASA in 1998. After initial training he worked in the Robotics and EVA Branches. He was lead for the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator and Mobile Transporter (1999-2002) and supported research into developing on-orbit Shuttle repair techniques. In 2006, he served as lead of the Hardware Integration Section of the Space Station Branch.
Olivas carried out two spacewalks during the STS-117 mission in June 2007, which delivered the second starboard truss segment, and the third set of U.S. solar arrays to the ISS. The mission also included the first ever on-orbit spacewalk repair to the Space Shuttle. The mission also delivered and returned with an Expedition crewmember. Olivas will undertake all three of the STS-128 spacewalks.