Musgrave's retirement from the astronaut programme and NASA signalled the end of the era of NASA scientist-astronauts. For over thirty years they had worked to be recognised as ''astronauts'', not only for their academic and work experience, but for their devotion and dedication to supporting the NASA programme. They became jet pilots, competed with the pilot-astronauts, completed the astronaut training programme, supported other missions, developed new equipment, hardware, procedures and experiments, and let science take a back seat to operations and engineering. Most of all, they waited and hoped. But they also proved to the sceptics that scientists could be both astronauts and pilots, engineers and specialists in mission operations, and managers and administrators. They also turned the role of scientist-astronaut into the
Story Musgrave's biography The Way of Water was released in 2004. He is shown here in New York with his biographer, Anne Lenehan. [Credit: Karl Tate/collectspace.com.]
mission specialist and forged the way for the assignments of payload commander and ISS science officer. But were these really the new generation of scientist-astronauts?
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