He graduated from Crown Point High School, Crown Point, Indiana, in 1966; received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1970 and 1972, respectively.
In February 1979, Ross was assigned to the Payload Operations Division at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center as a payload officer/flight controller. In this capacity, he was responsible for the flight operations integration of payloads into the Space Shuttle.
Ross was selected as an astronaut in May 1980. His technical assignments since then have included: EVA, RMS, and chase team; support crewman for STS 41-B, 41-C and 51-A; spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) during STS 41-B, 41-C, 41-D, 51-A and 51-D; Chief of the Mission Support Branch; member of the 1990 Astronaut Selection Board; and Acting Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. A veteran of five space flights, Ross has logged 850 hours in space, including nearly 23 hours on four spacewalks.
Additional biographical information on the STS-88 crew members and other NASA astronauts is available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/astrobio.html