Chronology of the NASA Scientist Astronaut Programme

1957 Oct 4 The Soviet Union opens the space age with the launch of Sputnik 1

1958 Oct NASA is created as an American civilian space agency to manage and develop US civilian man in space programmes

1959 Apr NASA selects America's first astronauts - seven test pilots chosen for the one-man Project Mercury programme

1960 Mar The Soviet Union selects its first team of cosmonauts - twenty military pilots, including Yuri Gagarin, primarily for the one-man Vostok programme

1961 Apr 12 Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to fly in space. A

single orbit aboard Vostok is completed in 108 minutes 1961 May 5 Astronaut Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space - but not into orbit. He completes a 15-minute sub-orbital mission aboard Mercury 3 (Freedom 7)

1961 Aug 6 Cosmonaut Gherman Titov spends twenty-four hours in space aboard Vostok 2

1962 Feb 20 Astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit Earth -

three times - in Mercury 6 (Friendship 7) 1962 Sep 17 NASA selects a second group of nine pilot astronauts

1962 Dec Dr. Homer Newell, NASA's Director of the Office of Space Sciences, expresses the hope that scientists would be among NASA's next (third) group of astronauts

1963 Jan 6 A National Academy of Sciences-sponsored Space Science Summer

Study report recommends that "trained scientist-observers be assigned important roles in future US space missions'' 1963 Jun 16 Valentina Tereshkova, a former sports parachutist and not a career pilot, becomes the first woman in space, giving evidence that the Soviets were gathering biomedical data on non-pilot subjects and may be preparing to launch a crew with scientists, not pilots

1963 Jun 18 NASA announces the recruitment for a third group of astronauts, but still with a major focus on piloting skills rather than academic qualifications

1963 Sep Robert A. Voas, Human Factors Assistant at MSC, confers with

Dr. Homer Newell about the best qualifications for specialists to enter the astronaut programme in order to fulfil Apollo and AAP missions. Geology, geophysics, medicine and physiology were identified

1963 Oct NASA selects fourteen new pilot astronauts

1964 Apr The Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences defines appropriate scientific qualifications for selecting NASA's first group of scientist-astronauts 1964 Oct The Soviets fly Voskhod 1 with three crew members, including a scientist (Feoktistov) and a doctor (Yegorov), commanded by an experienced Air Force pilot (Komarov)

1964 Oct NASA announces that recruitment would begin for astronauts with a scientific background

1965 Jun 28 NASA names six new astronauts in its fourth selection since 1959.

They are Garriott, Gibson, Graveline, Kerwin, Michel and Schmitt; all scientists

1965 Jul 29 Garriott, Gibson, Graveline and Schmitt commence a 53-week

USAF jet pilot training course at Williams AFB, Arizona (Kerwin and Michel were already qualified). With the exception of Graveline, who resigned in August 1965, they graduate in July 1966

1966 Group 4 astronauts complete academic and survival training with Group 5 astronauts

1966 During the summer, Kerwin, Ed Givens of the 5th Astronaut Group and USAF Captain Joe Gagliano complete a 163-hour manned test of the Block I CSM in Altitude Chamber A at MSC in Houston

1966 Sep 26 NASA announces it will begin selection of a second group of scientist astronauts

1967 Aug 4 Eleven new astronauts are named by NASA in the sixth selection since 1959. The second group of scientist astronauts are: Allen, Chapman, England, Henize, Holmquest, Lenoir, Llewellyn, Musgrave, O'Leary, Parker and Thornton

1968 Mar Group 6 astronauts commence a USAF pilot training programme at five air bases across the United States. After graduating the course in 1969, they would complete their survival and environmental training 1968 Apr 23 O'Leary resigns from NASA after only eight months due to his distaste for pilot training and separation from his science research projects. He takes up a position as Assistant Professor of Astronomy, University of Texas. O'Leary's experiences and frustrations were expressed in his autobiography, The Making of an Ex-Astronaut (1970)

1968 Jun 16-24 Astronaut Kerwin (commander),Vance Brand (CMP) and Joe Engle

(LMP) complete a 177-hour simulated mission in a Block II CSM in Altitude Chamber A at MSC, Houston 1968 Sep 6 Llewellyn resigns from NASA after only one year due to his inability to progress sufficiently in the required USAF jet pilot training programme. He becomes Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Florida, Tallahassee, Florida

1968 Aug Schmitt (with Group 5 astronaut Don Lind) performs a full ALSEP

deployment demonstration on a simulated lunar surface wearing an Apollo EMU

1969 Jun 10 Thornton's graduation from jet pilot training is delayed due to an eye problem that would ground him for over 8 weeks until he adjusts to wearing the corrective glasses employed to resolve the problem. 1969 Jul Garriott serves as shift (Maroon Team) Capcom for Apollo 11.

Schmitt serves as an incidental Capcom during the mission 1969 Aug 6 Chapman is named to the support crew of Apollo 14. As mission scientist, he was Capcom during the flight in January-February 1971

1969 Aug 18 Michel resigns from NASA after four years due to "too few oppor tunities to fly on a mission''

1970 Mar 26 Schmitt is named back-up LMP Apollo 15; Allen, Henize and Parker are named as support crew members, with Allen also serving as mission scientist. They worked to support the flight during July-August 1971, including serving as incidental Capcom

1971 Mar 3 Chapman and England are assigned as support crewmen to Apollo

16. England is also named mission scientist for the April 1972 mission

1971 Aug 13 Schmitt is named LMP Apollo 17, the last planned mission to the

Moon. He was reassigned from the cancelled Apollo 18 mission, replacing Joe Engle, to allow a geologist to reach the Moon. Parker is named to the support crew and as mission scientist

1972 Jan 16 NASA names Kerwin, Garriott and Gibson as science pilots on the three Skylab missions. Musgrave is named back-up science pilot for the first manned flight and Lenoir to the second and third. Henize, Thornton and Parker are assigned as support crew members (and Capcom) for all three manned missions 1972 Jul 14 Chapman resigns from NASA after almost five years to accept a position with AVCO Research Laboratory, Massachusetts, as a principal research scientist 1972 Jul 26 Thornton participates as a Skylab Medical Experiment Altitude Test crewmember. He completes a 56-day ground simulation (in an altitude chamber) of a Skylab mission to obtain baseline medical and operational data for the three manned missions 1972 Aug 14 England resigns from NASA after five years due to lack of flight opportunities, to take up a position with the US Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado

1972 Dec 6 Schmitt is launched as LMP Apollo 17, the sixth manned lunar landing mission. He landed on the Moon on 12 December and made three surface EVAs, and a stand-up EVA during the return flight. Allen served as incidental Capcom for Apollo 17 1973 Feb 19 Parker is designated Skylab Program Scientist for all three manned missions in addition to his support crew/Capcom roles 1973 Jul 28 Garriott is launched aboard Skylab 3 and spends 59 days in space, completing three EVAs 1973 Sep Holmquest resigns from NASA after six years to take the post of

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Medicine at Texas A&M University, Navasota, Texas. He had been on extended leave of absence since May 1971 1973 Dec 7 In a reorganisation at JSC, Garriott is assigned as Deputy Director, Science and Applications at JSC Houston. Schmitt is named Chief of Scientist Astronauts

1973 Allen takes a two-year leave of absence from NASA to serve on the President's Council in International Economic Policy

1974 Feb 6 Henize survives a landing mishap of his T-38, at Bergstrom AFB in

Texas, when the undercarriage collapses. Though the aircraft suffers some damage, Henize is not injured 1974 May Schmitt is named NASA Assistant Administrator for Energy Programs at HQ, Washington DC 1974 Aug 15 Garriott is named Acting Director, Science and Applications, JSC Houston. Parker becomes Chief of the Scientist Astronaut Office, replacing Schmitt

1974 Sep 30 Henize participates in the fourth Learjet Spacelab simulation, an airborne science programme as part of the Spacelab development programme. The tests ended on 4 October

1974 Oct 1 Musgrave begins a one-week ground-based Spacelab Medical Devel opment test (SMD-I), conducting a series of twelve biomedical experiments as part of the Spacelab development programme

1975 Jun Parker participates in the ASSESS-I space science simulation flights aboard the NASA Convair 990 aircraft, part of the Spacelab development programme

1975 Aug 1 Allen begins a three-year term as NASA's Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs at NASA HQ in Washington DC.

1975 Aug 30 Schmitt resigns from NASA after ten years to run for the US Senate.

On 2 Nov 1976, he was elected as New Mexico Republican Candidate for the Senate. He was defeated in the November 1982 election

1976 Jan 26 Musgrave participates in the second Spacelab Medical Development test (SMD-II), a ground-based test as part of the Spacelab development programme. Tests end 1 February

1977 May 17 Thornton participates in a seven-day ground-based Spacelab Medi cal Development test (SMD-III), a life sciences programme which ended 24 May, as part of the Spacelab development programme 1977 May Henize participates in the ASSESS-II space science simulation flights aboard the NASA Convair 990 aircraft, part of the Spacelab development programme

1977 Kerwin, Gibson and Parker serve as members of the Group 8 astronaut selection panel, the first Shuttle era selection

1978 Jan 16 NASA names 35 new astronauts to train for the Space Shuttle programme. In addition to fifteen pilot candidates, there are twenty mission specialist candidates (a new designation), including the first six women selected by NASA for astronaut training 1978 Mar Gibson returns to NASA CB as a "senior scientist-astronaut", to prepare for flights aboard the Space Shuttle as a mission specialist. He is also assigned to the STS-1 support crew and would serve as a Capcom during the launch phase 1978 Jul 28 Allen returns from NASA HQ to JSC as a "senior scientist astronaut", to train as a mission specialist for future Shuttle flights

1978 Aug 3 Garriott and Parker are named as mission specialists to Spacelab 1

1979 Jun 3 England returns to NASA CB as a "senior scientist-astronaut", to prepare for future Shuttle flights as a mission specialist. He is assigned technical duties for the Spacelab 2 payload

1979 Oct Holmquest writes a letter to George Abbey requesting to return to

CB astronaut duties for a possible assignment as a mission specialist on a Shuttle flight. He acknowledged that mistakes were made on his first tour (1967-1973). He did not return to CB

1980 Oct 31 Gibson resigns from NASA a second time (after two years), when the prospect of an early Shuttle flight was not forthcoming. He had hoped for an MS assignment on STS-5 or 6

1980 STS CB planning documents indicate that astronauts Henize and Thornton could be flying as PS rather than MS, though both eventually flew as mission specialists

1981 Apr 14 Allen serves on the support crew of STS-1, acting as entry and landing Capcom on the "Silver" (Entry) flight control team for the first Shuttle mission

1982 Mar 1 Allen and Lenoir are named as MS for STS-5, a satellite deployment mission; Musgrave is named MS to STS-6, a TDRS deployment mission

1982 Apr Kerwin is reassigned as NASA Representative to Australia; he had been preparing for a possible assignment as MS on a Shuttle mission (STS-13/Solar Max)

1982 Nov 11 Allen and Lenoir are launched aboard Columbia on the first "operational" Shuttle flight STS-5, the first mission to deploy a commercial comsat. A planned EVA was cancelled due to several technical difficulties. Landed 16 November after 122 hours 14 minutes 1982 Dec 21 Thornton is added to the STS-8 crew, with the specific purpose of conducting on-orbit studies of space adaptation syndrome (space sickness)

1982 Feb 22 England and Henize are named as MS to the Spacelab 2 mission

(which became STS 51-F). Henize had been working on the payload since 1977. Thornton is named to the Spacelab 3 dedicated micro-gravity mission (which became STS 51-B) 1983 Apr 4 Musgrave, serving as an MS, is launched aboard Challenger on her maiden flight (STS-6) to deploy the first TDRS. Musgrave also participated in the first Shuttle-based EVA (4 hours 17 minutes) in the payload bay, to evaluate Shuttle EVA hardware and procedures. Mission landed on 9 April after 120 hours 24 minutes 1983 Aug 30 Thornton launched as MS aboard Challenger (STS-8) to study the crew's adaptation to space flight 1983 Sep 21 Allen is named MS to Rick Hauck's Shuttle crew. Originally assigned to STS-16, schedule shifts result in changes to the mission profile before the mission was designated STS 51-A 1983 Nov 17 Musgrave is named MS on the Spacelab 2 mission (which became STS 51-F)

1983 Nov 28 Garriott and Parker fly as MS aboard STS-9 (Columbia, carrying Spacelab 1), landing on 8 December after 247 hours 47 minutes. This was Garriott's second space flight

1983 Dec Kerwin is named NASA Director of Life Sciences at JSC

1984 Jun 7 Garriott is named MS for the STS 51-H Earth Observation Mission

(EOM) 1. Parker is named MS for the Astro-1 mission (originally STS 61-E, but which flew as STS- 35 following several delays in the manifest)

1984 Sep 31 Lenoir resigns from NASA after almost seventeen years to take up a senior position with the management consultancy company Booz, Allen and Hamilton Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. He had been selected to fly on the first German Spacelab mission and had started language training, but did not wish to commit to extended training visits to Europe

1984 Nov 8 Allen flies his second mission as MS on STS 51-A, a satellite deploy ment and retrieval mission. He completed two EVAs totalling 11 hours 42 minutes, supporting the recovery of two stranded satellites, including a 2 hr 22 min untethered flight on an MMU

1985 Apr 29 Thornton flies his second mission, as MS aboard STS 51-B (Spacelab

3). Mission ended on 6 May after 168 hours 9 minutes 1985 Jul 1 Allen resigns from NASA after almost eighteen years service, to join Space Industries in Houston as an Executive Vice President

1985 Jul 29 England, Henize and Musgrave fly as MS aboard Challenger, with the Spacelab-2 payload (STS 51-F). An Abort-to-Orbit situation was overcome, allowing the mission to be completed successfully after 190 hours 45 minutes, landing on 6 August. It was Musgrave's second spaceflight

1986 Jan 28 Challenger is lost 73 seconds after launch, killing seven astronauts aboard, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. The Shuttle manifest is suspended pending a full review and evaluation of the future of the programme

1986 Apr Henize transfers from the CB to the JSC Space Sciences Branch as a senior scientist, working on space debris issues

1986 Jun 11 Garriott resigns from NASA after twenty-one years, to become Vice

President, Space Programs, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Hunts-ville, Alabama

1987 Mar 31 Kerwin resigns from NASA after more than twenty-two years to join


1988 Mar 1 Parker becomes Director of Spaceflight, Space Station Integration


1988 Aug England resigns from NASA a second time (after ten years) to become Professor of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the University of Michigan. He was a candidate for the Sunlab series of Spacelab missions to re-fly Spacelab 2 experiments which were cancelled in the wake of the 1986 Challenger accident

1988 Sep 29 STS-26 completes a successful mission, returning the Shuttle to flight following the Challenger tragedy

1988 Nov 30 Parker is named as MS to STS-35, the new designation of STS 61-E

(Astro 1). Musgrave is named MS to STS-33, a DoD mission

1989 Jul Lenoir returns to NASA as Associate Administrator for Space

Station Freedom and is later promoted to Associate Administrator for Space Flight

1989 Nov 22 Musgrave flies his third mission as MS aboard STS-33 (Discovery), a classified DoD mission. Duration was 120 hours 6 minutes, ending on 27 November

1990 May 24 Musgrave is named MS to STS-44, a dedicated DoD mission

1990 Dec 2 Parker flies as MS STS-35 (Astro 1). Duration was 215 hours 6

minutes, ending on 10 December

1991 Jan Parker is reassigned as Director of Division Policy and Plans, Office of Spaceflight, at NASA HQ, Washington DC.

1991 Nov 24 Musgrave flies his fourth mission as MS STS-44 (DoD). Duration was 166 hours 52 minutes, landing on 1 December

1992 Jan Parker becomes Director of the Spacelab and Operations Planning

Program at NASA HQ in Washington DC until November 1993 1992 Feb 21 Musgrave is named Payload Commander MS for STS-61 - the first Hubble Space Telescope service mission

1992 May Lenoir resigns from NASA a second time after almost three years as

Associate Administrator for Space Flight

1993 Dec Parker serves as Manager of the Space Operations Utilization

Program at NASA HQ in Washington DC until August 1997 1993 Dec 2 Musgrave flies his fifth mission as MS/PC STS-61 (HST-SSM-1), during which he completes three EVAs in a mission lasting 259 hours 59 minutes, landing on 13 December

1994 May 31 Thornton resigns from NASA after twenty-seven years to take up a teaching post

1996 Jan 17 Musgrave is named as MS to STS-80

1996 Nov 19 Musgrave flies his sixth mission as MS on STS-80, a space sciences mission that lasted 423 hours 54 minutes, landing on 6 December

1997 Aug Parker serves as Director of the NASA Management Office at the Jet

Propulsion Office in Pasadena, California for the next eight years

1997 Sep 2 Musgrave reluctantly resigns from NASA after thirty years of active service as an astronaut "to pursue other interests.'' The only man to fly all five orbiters, he is the last of the seventeen scientist-astronauts selected in 1965 and 1967 to retire from active flight status, ending an era

1998 Nov First element of ISS is launched 2000 Oct First resident crew to ISS is launched

2002 ISS resident Peggy Whitson is nominated first Space Station Science Officer while in orbit

2003 1 Feb Columbia is lost, with all seven astronauts, following a two-week science research mission designed to support ISS science research fields

2005 Jun 28 The fortieth anniversary of the selection of the first group of NASA scientist-astronauts

2005 Jul 26 The STS-114 Return-to-Flight mission is launched to ISS. Although the mission is a success, problems with ET foam debris delay subsequent missions into 2006. 2005 Aug 31 Parker retires from NASA after 38 years serving as an astronaut and manager. He became the final member of the two scientist-astronaut groups to retire from NASA ending a 40-year programme

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