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Colonel Aldrin is a combat veteran of the Korean War flying 66 missions in the North American F-86 Sabre. Colonel Aldrin is a veteran of two NASA space missions. Aldrin flew as pilot of the Gemini XII spacecraft along with command pilot Jim Lovell on a 4- day flight in November of 1966. This was the final flight of the Gemini program and during the flight Buzz set a new EVA record and was pioneer of working successfully outside the spacecraft. Colonel Aldrin served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, July 16-24, 1969, the first manned lunar landing mission. Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong onto the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, completing a 2-hour and 15 minute lunar EVA. To find out more about Colonel Aldrin please visit his official website www.buzzaldrin.com
Neil A. Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1955. After serving as a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952 and completing his studies at Purdue, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1955. His first assignment was with the NACA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. For the next 17 years, he was an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator for NACA and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As a research pilot at NASA's Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., he was a project pilot on many pioneering high speed aircraft, including the well known, 4000-mph X-15. He has flown over 200 different models of aircraft, including jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders. Armstrong transferred to astronaut status in 1962. He was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission. Gemini 8 was launched on March 16, 1966, and Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space. As spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first man to land a craft on the moon and first to step on its surface. Armstrong subsequently held the position of Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. In this position, he was responsible for the coordination and management of overall NASA research and technology work related to aeronautics. He was Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati between 1971-1979. During the years 1982-1992, Armstrong was chairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc., Charlottesville, Va. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. He holds honorary doctorates from a number of universities. Armstrong is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Royal Aeronautical Society; Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the International Astronautics Federation. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco. He served as a member of the National Commission on Space (1985-1986), as Vice-Chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident (1986), and as Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Peace Corps (1971-1973). Armstrong has been decorated by 17 countries. He is the recipient of many special honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the Congressional Space Medal of Honor; the Explorers Club Medal; the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy; the NASA Distinguished Service Medal; the Harmon International Aviation Trophy; the Royal Geographic Society's Gold Medal; the Federation Aeronautique Internationale's Gold Space Medal; the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award; the Robert J. Collier Trophy; the AIAA Astronautics Award; the Octave Chanute Award; and the John J. Montgomery Award. Click here to read Mr. Armstrong's NASA biography.
Colonel Borman is a veteran of two NASA manned space missions. Colonel Borman was Commander of Gemini VII and flew with James A. Lovell (pilot) on the historic mission to rendezvous with the capsule of Gemini VIA (Ed White and Buzz Aldrin). Colonel Borman's second mission was as commander of Apollo VIII where he flew with Jim Lovell and Bill Anders on the historic first flight to the moon during December, 1968. Click here to read Colonel Borman's offical NASA Biography.
Captain Cernan is a former NASA astronaut and veteran of three space missions. Captain Cernan was one of fourteen group three astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963 and made his first space flight occupying the pilot seat alongside Command Pilot Tom Stafford on the Gemini IX mission in June, 1966. Captain Cernan's next space flight was alongside Tom Stafford (Commander), John Young (Command Module Pilot) on the historic Apollo 10 mission which was a full "dress rehearsal" for the first manned moon-landing in May 1969. Captain Cernan made his final space flight as Commander of Apollo 17 in December 1972. On this flight Cernan was accompanied by Harrison Schmitt (Lunar Module Pilot) and Ron Evans (Command Module Pilot). The flight of Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the moon and Captain Cernan was the last human being to walk on the surface of the moon. Click here to read Captain Cernan's NASA biography. Please also take the time to visit Captain Cernan's official web site at genecernan.com.
General Collins is a veteran of two space flights and was chosen in the third group of NASA astronauts in 1963. General Collins made his first space flight with John Young (Command Pilot) aboard Gemini X with his next (and last) flight as Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11 which was the first manned lunar landing mission. It was on July 20, 1969 that astroanuts Neil Armstrong (Commander) and Buzz Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot) first walked on the moon while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins orbited the moon in "Columbia" awaiting the return and rendezvous of "Eagle". In the event of an unsuccessful lift-off from the moons surface Collins would have had to return to earth alone. General Collins resigned from NASA in January 1970 and was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and became Director of the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in April 1971 and was promoted to Under Secretary of the Smithsonian in April 1978. Click here to read General Collins NASA biography.
Following graduation from Princeton University in 1953, Mr. Conrad entered the Navy and became a naval aviator. He then attended the Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, where he was assigned as a Project Test Pilot. Mr. Conrad also served as a flight instructor and performance engineer at the Test Pilot School. After completing his tour of duty at Patuxent River, he served as instructor pilot in F4H Phantoms on VF-121 and was then assigned duty in VF-96 on board USS Ranger. In September of 1962, Mr. Conrad was selected as an astronaut by NASA. His first flight was Gemini V, which established the space endurance record and placed the United States in the lead for man-hours in space. As commander of Gemini XI, Mr. Conrad helped to set a world's altitude record. He then served as commander of Apollo XII, the second lunar landing. On Mr. Conrad's final mission, he served as commander of Skylab II, the first United States Space Station. After serving 20 years (11 of which were as an astronaut in the space program), Mr. Conrad retired from the U.S. Navy to accept a position as Vice President - Operations and Chief Operating Office of American Television and Communications Corporation (ATC). At ATC, he was responsible for both the operation of existing systems and the national development of new cable television systems. In 1976, he resigned from ATC to accept the position of Vice President and consultant to McDonnell Douglas Corporation. In 1978, he became Vice President of marketing and was responsible for all commercial and military sales for Douglas Aircraft Company. Mr. Conrad then became Senior Vice President-Marketing in 1980. He was appointed as Senior Vice President Marketing and Product Support in 1982 and 1984, was named Staff Vice President of International Business Development for McDonnell Douglas Corporation. In 1990, Mr. Conrad became Staff Vice President - New Business for McDonell Douglas Space Company, where he participated in research and development for the Space Exploration Initiative. Included for research and development in the Space Exploration Initiative are the construction of Space Station Freedom, the return to and colonization of the Moon, and the exploration of Mars. Mr. Conrad contributed his expertise on SSTO, the Single-Stage-To-Orbit and return space transportation system called the Delta Clipper. In 1993, Mr. Conrad became Vice President-Project Development. Mr. Conrad died July 8, 1999 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Ojai, California. Click here to read "Pete" Conrad's NASA biography.
Captain Gordon is a veteran of two space flights. On Gemini XI he flew into space with Charles "Pete" Conrad to a then world space altitude record. Gordon's second and final space flight was aboard Apollo XII where he flew as the Command Module Pilot. Once again, flying with "Pete" Conrad (Commander) and Alan Bean (Lunar Module Pilot). For the full story, please visit his official website dickgordon.com.
Gus Grissom is a combat veteran of the Korean War, flying 100 combat missions in the F-86 Sabre with the 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Grissom was one of the original Seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA in April 1959. Grissom's first spaceflight was aboard Mercury-Redstone 4 , the capsule which he titled "Liberty Bell 7". This was the second and final suborbital Mercury test flight on July 21, 1961. The flight lasted 15 minutes and 37seconds, attained an altitude of 118 statute miles, and traveled 302 miles downrange from the launch pad at Cape Kennedy. On March 23, 1965, he served as command pilot on the first manned Gemini flight, Gemini-Titan 3, flying into space with John Young. Subsequent to this assignment, he served as backup command pilot for Gemini 6. Grissom was named to serve as commander for the Apollo AS-204 (Apollo 1) mission, the first US 3-manned Apollo flight. Sadly Gus Grissom was lost along with Ed White & Roger Chaffee on January 27, 1967, during a "plugs out" test at Pad 34-A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. More information on this tradgedy can be found here . To read Gus Grissom's full biography click here.
Scott served as command module pilot for Apollo 9, March 3-13, 1969. This was the third manned flight in the Apollo series, the second to be launched by a Saturn V, and the first to complete a comprehensive earth-orbital qualification and verification test of a "fully configured Apollo spacecraft." The ten-day flight provided vital information previously not available on the operational performance, stability, and reliability of lunar module propulsion and life support systems. Highlight of this evaluation was completion of a critical lunar-orbit rendezvous simulation and subsequent docking, initiated by James McDivitt and Russell Schweickart from within the lunar module at a separation distance which exceeded 100 miles from the command/service module piloted by Scott. The crew also demonstrated and confirmed the operational feasibility of crew transfer and extravehicular activity techniques and equipment, with Schweickart completing a 46-minute EVA outside the lunar module. During this period, Dave Scott completed a 1-hour stand-up EVA in the open command module hatch photographing Schweickart's activities and also retrieving thermal samples from the command module exterior. Apollo 9 splashed down less than four miles from the helicopter carrier USS GUADALCANAL.
He made his third space flight as spacecraft commander of Apollo 15, July 26 - August 7, 1971. His companions on the flight were Alfred M. Worden (command module pilot) and James B. Irwin (lunar module pilot). Apollo 15 was the fourth manned lunar landing mission and the first to visit and explore the moon's Hadley Rille and Apennine Mountains which are located on the southeast edge of the Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains). The lunar module, "Falcon," remained on the lunar surface for 66 hours and 54 minutes (setting a new record for lunar surface stay time) and Scott and Irwin logged 18 hours and 35 minutes each in extravehicular activities conducted during three separate excursions onto the lunar surface. Using "Rover-1" to transport themselves and their equipment along portions of Hadley Rille and the Apennine Mountains, Scott and Irwin performed a selenological inspection and survey of the area and collected 180 pounds of lunar surface materials. They deployed an ALSEP package which involved the emplacement and activation of surface experiments, and their lunar surface activities were televised using a TV camera which was operated remotely by ground controllers stationed in the mission control center located at Houston, Texas. Other Apollo 15 achievements include: largest payloads ever placed into earth and lunar orbits; first scientific instrument module bay flown and operated on an Apollo spacecraft; longest distance traversed on lunar surface; first use of a lunar surface navigation device (mounted on Rover-1); first subsatellite launched in lunar orbit; and first extravehicular (EVA) from a command module during transearth coast. The latter feat performed by Worden during three excursions to "Endeavour's" SIM-bay where he retrieved film cassettes from the panoramic and mapping cameras and reported his personal observations of the general condition of equipment housed there. Apollo 15 concluded with a Pacific Ocean splashdown and subsequent recovery by the USS OKINAWA. He has logged 546 hours and 54 minutes in space, of which 20 hours and 46 minutes were in Extravehicular Activity. He is only one of three Astronauts who have flown both earth orbital and lunar Apollo Missions. Click here to read Colonel Scott's NASA biography.
General Stafford was commander of Apollo 10 in May 1969, first flight of the lunar module to the moon, performed the first rendezvous around the Moon, and performed the entire lunar landing mission except the actual landing. He also made reconnaissance and tracking on future Apollo landing sites. General Stafford was cited in the Guiness Book of World Records for highest speed ever attained by man which occurred during Apollo 10 reentry when the spacecraft attained 24,791 statute miles per hour. He was assigned as head of the astronaut group in June 1969, responsible for the selection of flight crews for projects Apollo and Skylab. He reviewed and monitored flight crew training status reports, and was responsible for coordination, scheduling, and control of all activities involving NASA astronauts. In June 1971, General Stafford was assigned as Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations at the NASA Manned Spaceflight Center. He was responsible for assisting the director in planning and implementation of programs for the astronaut group, the Aircraft Operations, Flight Crew Integration, Flight Crew Procedures, and Crew Simulation and Training Divisions. He logged his fourth space flight as Apollo commander of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission, July 15-24, 1975-a joint space flight culminating in the historic first meeting in space between American Astronauts and Soviet Cosmonauts. General Stafford was the first member of his Naval Academy Class of 1952 to pin on the first, second and third stars of a General Officer. He has flown six rendezvous in space; logged 507 hours and 43 minutes in space flight and wore the Air Force command Pilot Astronaut Wings. He has flown over 127 different type of aircraft and helicopters and four different types of spacecraft. General Stafford assumed command of the Air Force Flight Test Center November 4, 1975. He was promoted to the grade of Major General August 9, 1975, with date of rank of June 1, 1973. Promoted to grade of Lieutenant General on March 15, 1978 and on May 1, 1978, assumed duties as Deputy Chief of Staff, Research Development and Acquisition, Headquarters USAF, Washington, D.C.; retired in November 1979. Click here to read General Stafford's NASA biography.
Ed White, an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, received flight training in Florida and Texas, following his graduation from West Point. He then spent 3-1/2 years in Germany with a fighter squadron, flying F-86’s and F-100’s. He attended the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1959. White was later assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as an experimental test pilot with the Aeronautical Systems Division. In this assignment he made flight tests for research and weapons systems development, wrote technical engineering reports, and made recommendations for improvement in aircraft design and construction. White was named as a member of the astronaut team selected by NASA in September 1962. He was pilot on Gemini-Titan IV flying with Command Pilot James McDivitt. Gemini IV, was a 66-revolution, 4-day mission that began on June 3, and ended on June 7, 1965. During the third revolution, he carried out the first extra vehicular activity in the United States manned space flight program. He was outside Gemini 4 for 21 minutes, and became the first man to control himself in space during EVA with a maneuvering unit. Other highlights of the mission included cabin depressurization, opening of cabin doors, and 12 scientific and medical experiments. He received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the U.S. Air Force Senior Astronaut Wings for this Flight. On March 21, 1966, he was named as one of the pilots of the Apollo AS-204 (Apollo 1) mission, the first US 3-manned Apollo flight. Sadly Ed White was lost along with crew members Gus Grissom & Roger Chaffee on January 27, 1967, during a "plugs out" test at Pad 34-A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. More information on this tradgedy can be found here . To read Ed White's full biography click here.
Captain Young is a veteran of six NASA space missions; Gemini 3 (pilot, flying with Gus Grissom), Gemini 10 (Commander, flying with Michael Collins), Apollo 10 (flying with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan), Apollo 16 (Commander, flying with Charlie Duke and Ken Mattingly), STS-1 (maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Commander, flying with Bob Crippen) and Spacelab 1/STS-9 (Commander, flying with Owen Garriott, Brewster Shaw, Robert Parker, Byron Lichtenberg and Ulf Merbold). I've had the pleasure of attending one of Capt. Youngs lectures on July 4th, 2000 in Edinburgh. Getting to talk to him and ask him a question was a great thrill. For a highly detailed and informative "fan" site about Captain Young, please visit Dana Holland's excellent John W. Young website.