Major, U.S. Army, NASA Astronaut, USA
Born and raised in Spokane, Washington. Mother and stepfather are Don and Charlotte Lamp and stepmother is Mari Ann McClain, father is the late James McClain, all of Spokane, WA. She enjoys weightlifting, rugby, golf, biking and running.
Graduated from Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington, in 1997.
Earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2002.
A 2002 Marshall Scholar, earned a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bath in Bath, England in 2004.
Earned a Master of Science in International Relations from the University of Bristol in Bristol, England in 2005.
McClain was commissioned as an Army officer in 2002 and immediately attended graduate school. Her studies at the University of Bath focused on the unsteady aerodynamics and flow visualization of free-to-roll nonslender delta wings and her research was later published through the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She concurrently researched the security burden in developing countries at nearby University of Bristol.
Following graduate school, McClain earned her wings as an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior scout/attack helicopter pilot.
She began her operational flying career with 2nd Battalion, 6th Cavalry Regiment at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii as an Air Traffic Control Platoon Leader, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Platoon Leader, then later Detachment Commander.
She served 15 months in Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying more than 800 combat hours on 216 combat missions as pilot-in-command and Air Mission Commander.
In 2009, she attended the Aviation Captain’s Career Course and was then assigned to 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment at Fort Rucker as the battalion operations officer and OH-58D instructor.
In May 2010, she was appointed Commander of C Troop, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment, responsible for the Army’s initial entry training, instructor pilot training, and maintenance test pilot training in the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.
She completed Command and General Staff College and the C-12 fixed wing multiengine qualification courses in 2011 and 2012.
She then attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, graduating with Class 143 in June 2013 at the same time she was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate.
Major McClain is a Senior Army Aviator and has logged more than 2,000 flight hours in 20 different rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. She is a rated pilot and instructor pilot in the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and a rated pilot in the C-12 Huron (King Air), UH-60 Blackhawk, and UH-72 Lakota.
McClain was selected in June 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class.
Her Astronaut Candidate Training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. She completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015.
From June till December 2017 passed training course in the Star City (Russia) as a member of ISS- 58/59 backup crew.
Since January 2018 has been training as a member of ISS- 56/57 backup crew.
Bronze Star Medal,
Air Medal with Valor,
two Air Medals,
two Army Commendation Medals,
two Army Achievement Medals,
the Iraqi Campaign Medal with two Service Stars,
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal,
three Overseas Service Ribbons,
Combat Action Badge,
Senior Aviator Badge,
Air Assault Badge.
Distinguished Honor Graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College ILE (2011).
Distinguished Honor Graduate from the Army’s Captains Career Course (2009).
Distinguished Honor Graduate of the Army’s Initial Entry Rotary Wing School (2006).
Graduated with distinction from the University of Bristol (2005).
Marshall Scholarship (2002).
Dennis Hart Mahan Memorial Award for excellence in Aeronautical Engineering (2002).
National Fastpitch Coaching Association All-American Scholar-Athlete (1999 to 2002).
USA Rugby Women’s National Team (2004 to 2006, and 2010 to 2012).
Captain of USA Rugby South Women’s XV All-Stars (2009 to 2011).
Society of Experimental Test Pilots,
U.S. Navy Test Pilot School Alumni Association,
Women Military Aviators,
Association of Marshall Scholars,
U.S. Military Academy Association of Graduates.