Education and mission support

In the Shuttle years, Musgrave continued to provide support to a number of missions in between training for his own. In 1984, he had been CB representative in Mission Control during STS 41-B and PAO support for the ABC TV network for STS 41-C. In 1985, after completing his STS 51-F flight crew assignments, he was assigned to SPAN for the STS 61-A Spacelab D1 mission. From STS 61-B onwards, he became the CB point of contact for Flight Data File issues for ascent/entry systems; ascent pocket checklist; crew personal calculator; contingency de-orbit preparations; orbit operations; entry pocket checklist; in-flight maintenance checklist; IUS deployment; orbit operations checklist and orbit pocket checklist; post-insertion and systems data. His experiences on STS 51-F, and his background in maths and statistics, operational analysis and computer programming, chemistry and medicine, coupled with his previous astronaut/piloting qualifications, made him an ideal choice for these assign-ments.21

In his career at NASA, Musgrave became perhaps the most pilot-orientated scientist-astronaut of the group. As well as flying in space, he managed to accumulate over 18,000 hours flying time in 160 different types of civilian and military aircraft, including over 7,500 hours in jet aircraft. He also held FAA ratings for instructor, instrument instructor, glider instructor and airline transport pilot. As an accomplished parachutist, he logged over 600 free falls, including 100 experimental freefall descents as part of the study of human aerodynamics. His flying achievements were honoured in 1987 when Northrop Aircraft Division Management Club recog-

STS-33 crew during pre-flight breakfast. Left to right: MS Sonny Carter, MS Kathy Thornton, MS Story Musgrave, Commander Fred Gregory and Pilot John Blaha.

nised him as the first person to fly 6,000 hours in the Northrop-built T-38 jet, which is used by astronauts to travel across the continental United States. The milestone flight occurred on 4 August 1987. Musgrave is the only person to have achieved, or is likely to achieve, that many hours in a T-38. The record was the equivalent of flying nonstop for 250 days, taking off at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve and flying until midnight on 7 September.22 Musgrave also continued his passion for education by earning his sixth degree, this time a Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Houston.

After STS-33 in 1990, Musgrave became Head of the Mission Support Branch of the CB and began a tour as Space Capcom in Mission Control, supporting the missions of STS-38 (DoD), STS-31 (Hubble deployment mission), STS-41 (Ulysses deployment) and STS-35 (Astro-1). After training and flying on STS-44 in 1992, he returned to mission support roles in SPAN for STS-50 (USML-1) and STS-49 (Intelsat re-boost) before returning to astronaut training for STS-61. He returned to the Capcom console in 1994, supporting STS-59 (SRL-1), STS-62 (USMP-2), STS-64 (Lite), STS-65 (IML-2), STS-68 (SRL-2), STS-66 (ATLAS 3), STS-63 (Near Mir), STS-67 (Astro-2), STS-71 (Mir docking 1), STS-70 (TDRS-G), STS-69 (WSF-2), STS-73 (USML-2), STS-72 (SFU retrieval), STS-74 (Mir docking 2) and STS-75 (USMP-3) over the next two years, before resuming training for his sixth and final space mission. One of the longest serving Capcom-experienced astronauts, he was the prime contact between the crew in space and the world below, sharing their victories and setbacks, taking care of the crews' best interests and suffering the good and the bad times himself frequently on the ground.

Courage Conqueror

Courage Conqueror

Do You Want To Be More Courageous, Push Negativity Out Of Your Life, and Have More Self Belief? Learn How, In Just A Very Short Time, You Can Put an END To Your Lack Of Bravery And Feel More In Control Of Your Life Than Ever Before... GUARANTEED.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment