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Robert J. Cenker

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Title: Robert J. Cenker  
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Subject: Payload Specialist, List of space travelers by name, List of astronauts by first flight, List of human spaceflights, 1981–90, List of space travelers by nationality
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Robert J. Cenker

Robert Joseph Cenker
RCA Payload Specialist
Nationality American
Born November 5, 1948
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
6d 02h 03m
Missions STS-61-C

Robert Joseph Cenker is an engineer and aerospace systems consultant who flew aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-61-C as Payload Specialist for RCA.


  • Personal 1
  • Education 2
  • Organizations 3
  • Career 4
  • Spaceflight experience 5
  • External links 6


Born November 5, 1948 and raised near Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Married to Barbara Ann (Cosentino) Cenker. They have two sons named Daniel and Brian and one daughter named Laura.




Cenker currently consults with various firms in the areas of spacecraft design, assembly, and flight operations, and micro-gravity research. This has included launch vehicle evaluation and systems engineering support for Motorola on Iridium; avionics architecture, generation of performance specification, and generation of performance map for small expendable launch vehicle; and constellation configuration and launch vehicle performance definition for proprietary smallsat communications system. Last two years with RCA were spent as Manager of Payload Accommodations on EOS Platform. Prior assignments at RCA included Integration and Test Manager for the Satcom D & E spacecraft, responsible for implementation of all launch site activities, and Spacecraft Bus Manager on the Spacenet/Gstar programs, responsible for satisfaction of multiple launch vehicle interfaces (Delta, STS and Ariane) by the spacecraft bus design. Other efforts include systems engineering and operations support for INTELSAT on Intelsat K and Intelsat VIII; AT&T on Telstar 401 and 402; Fairchild Matra on SPAS III; and Martin Marietta on Astra 1B, BS3N, ACTS, and Series 7000 communications satellites. Systems engineering and architecture for various spacecraft studies, ranging from individual Smallsats, military communications constellations, and large, assembled-in-orbit platforms.

Former member of the technical staff at the RCA/GE Astro Space Division. In 18 years with GE (formerly RCA) he worked in a variety of functions, including satellite attitude control and in-orbit operations; spacecraft assembly, test, and pre-launch operations; and satellite hardware and system design. Approximately two years of this experience were with a Navy navigation satellite program, with the remaining time spent on various commercial communications satellite efforts.

Spaceflight experience

Selected by RCA as a Payload Specialist; and approved by NASA to fly on the space shuttle Columbia on Space Shuttle Mission STS-61-C. During the six-day mission, (January 12 to 18, 1986) he performed a variety of physiological tests, observed the deployment of the RCA Satcom Ku-1 satellite, and operated primary experiment, an infrared imaging camera. In completing this flight, Cenker traveled over 2.1 million miles in 96 Earth orbits and logged over 146 hours in space.

External links

  • NASA biography of Cenker
  • Spacefacts biography of Robert J. Cenker
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