An American engineer and NASA astronaut, Tani had a 16 year career at NASA, where he flew on 2 space missions for an accumulated 132 days in space, featuring 6 space walks, including the 100th spacewalk on the International Space Station.
On his first spaceflight (2001), Dan Tani served as a Mission Specialist on the 12-day STS-108 mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. On his second spaceflight (2007-2008), he served as a Flight Engineer for 4 months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as a member of the Expedition 16 crew. He was delivered to the ISS as a member of the STS-120 crew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, and was returned to Earth as a member of the STS-122 crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis.
His spaceflight preparation included extensive training at the cosmonaut training facility in Star City, Russia; hiking and sea kayaking with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); winter and sea survival courses; high performance jet flying; and serving as a member of the NEEMO-2 crew where he worked and lived in an underwater habitat for 8 days. In addition to his training and preparation for spaceflight, Dan served as Capsule Communicator (“Capcom”) in Mission Control, was a Branch Chief in the Astronaut Office’s Space Station branch, and performed other technical assignments.
Dan Tani’s awards and accolades are many. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Science, Elmhurst College (IL) 2003, an Excellence Award in Science and Technology, U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, 2003, a Japanese-American Citizen League's Nikkei of the Biennium for Science and Technology, 2002, the NASA Spaceflight Medal, 2001, and an Orbital Sciences Corporation's Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, 1993.
Dan will share his journey from being the son of Japanese-American parents that were interned during World War II to living on the ISS for 4 months. His optimistic view of the world and humanity through his stories, photographs and videos will inspire, amaze and inform his audience.
Dan is a native of Chicago and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After retiring from NASA, he has been a high school teacher and is now a Director at the non-profit US-Japan Foundation. He lives outside of Washington DC with his wife Jane Egan, who hails from Cork and three children. Tani was also Grand Marshall for the Cork St Patrick’s Parade in 2009.