Astronaut Office circa spring 1984

At the time of Reagan's announcement of an American space station programme (April 1984), an internal CB memo documented the manpower requirements for the Flight Crew Operations Directorate and the assignments of the active astronauts.2 Of the former scientist-astronauts, Garriott (Space Station) and Lenoir (Mission Development) were assigned as Branch Chiefs, while Allen (51-A), Thornton (51-B), and Musgrave, England and Henize (51-F) were all assigned as "mission specialist crew under training''.

In the Mission Development Branch (under Lenoir), Bob Parker held four assignments, for issues concerning Science and Technology (Astro Shuttle missions), and for Payload and Operations (Spacelab, New Pallets, Payload Communications and Data - all as lead astronaut). Garriott was also working on science and technology issues for the (Shuttle-borne) Earth Observation Missions (EOM), while Thornton found himself working on space medicine issues and Musgrave was assigned to the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) in the Systems Development and Test Branch.

Garriott held the position of Program Scientist for Space Station for two years from 1984. In his 2000 Oral History, he explained that his role was to advise on the conduct of science, the type of science that should be carried out on the Space Station, and how such science would be conducted on the various configurations that were being studied. He also commented on the way that the station was placed in orbit. Instead of several dozen Shuttle flights, he argued that a heavy-lift launch vehicle -derived from the Shuttle - could probably have done the job quicker, cheaper and more safely. This would have meant an earlier completion of station construction, so the science research could have begun many years ahead of when it actually did.

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