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Robert L. Crippen, Astronaut

Robert L. Crippen, Astronaut American History Aviation & Space Exploration STEM Tragedies and Triumphs Biographies

NASA provides the following biographical information about Robert Crippen, the pilot on Columbia's first mission:

PERSONAL DATA: "Born in Beaumont, Texas, on September 11, 1937. Married to the former Pandora Lee Puckett of Miami, Florida. Three grown daughters."

EDUCATION: "Graduated from New Caney High School in Caney, Texas; received a bachelor of science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas in 1960."

NASA EXPERIENCE:
"Crippen became a NASA astronaut in September 1969. He was a member of the astronaut support crew for the Skylab 2, 3, and 4 missions, and served in this same capacity for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission, which was completed successfully in July 1975.

"He served as pilot on STS-1 (April 12-14, 1981), and was the spacecraft commander on STS-7 (June 18-24, 1983), STS-41C (April 6-13, 1984) and STS-41G (October 5-13, 1984).

"A four flight veteran, Crippen has logged over 565 hours in space, orbited the earth 374 times and traveled over 9.4 million miles."

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: "STS-1 (April 12-14, 1981) was the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle Columbia, the first true manned spaceship. It was also the first manned vehicle to be flown into orbit without benefit of previous unmanned 'orbital' testing; the first to launch with wings using solid rocket boosters. It was also the first winged reentry vehicle to return to a conventional runway landing, weighing more than 99-tons as it was braked to a stop on the dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Mission duration was 54 hours, 20 minutes, 53 1 seconds.

"STS-7 (June 18-24, 1983) was the second flight for the Orbiter Challenger,. This was also the first mission with a 5-person crew. During the 6-day flight the crew deployed satellites for Canada (ANIK C-2) and Indonesia (PALAPA B-1); operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to perform the first deployment and retrieval exercise with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01); conducted the first formation flying of the orbiter with a free-flying satellite (SPAS-02); carried and operated the first U.S./German cooperative materials science payload (OSTA-2); and operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) and the Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiments, in addition to activating seven Getaway Specials. Mission duration was 146 hours, 23 minutes, 59 seconds.

"STS-41C (April 6-13, 1984) was a 7-day mission during which the crew successfully deployed the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF); retrieved the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite, repaired it on-board the orbiting Challenger, and replaced it in orbit using the robot arm called the Remote Manipulator System (RMS); flight tested the Manned Maneuvering Units (MMU's) in two extravehicular activities (EVA's); as well as operating the Cinema 360 and IMAX Camera Systems, and a Bee Hive Honeycomb Structures student experiment. Mission duration was 167 hours, 40 minutes, 07 seconds.

"STS-41G (October 5-13, 1984) was the first mission with a 7-person crew. During the 8-day flight the crew deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted scientific observations of the earth with the OSTA-3 pallet and Large Format Camera, as well as demonstrating potential satellite refueling with an EVA and associated hydrazine transfer. Mission duration was 197 hours, 23 minutes, 37 seconds and concluded with a landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 12, 2019


Media Credits

Image, NASA.

Biographical information, NASA's Johnson Space Center.

 

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