Alan G. Poindexter received an associate degree in engineering from Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, Florida in 1983, and then attended Georgia Institute of Technology, graduating with highest honors with a bachelor’s degree of aerospace engineering in 1986. In 1995 he received a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Selected by NASA in June 1998, he reported for training in August 1998. Initially, Poindexter served in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch performing duties as the lead support astronaut at Kennedy Space Center. In December 2002, he was named as Pilot on STS-120 mission to deliver the Harmony connecting node to the International Space Station; an assignment which abruptly ended with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster just two months later. In July 2006, Poindexter was assigned as Pilot on the STS-122 mission that delivered the European Space Agency’s Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station in February 2008.
Poindexter served as a lead CAPCOM for the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope in May 2009, as well as the launch CAPCOM for the STS-127 mission in July 2009. He was the Commander of STS-131, which launched in April 2010. The mission’s primary payload was the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module.
Poindexter retired from NASA service in December 2010.