Author Topic: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night  (Read 151599 times)

Offline Ares67

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Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« on: 05/23/2015 04:12 PM »
The darker the night, the brighter the star


This Space Shuttle history report is dedicated to the memory of

Capt. USN Dale Allan Gardner (Nov. 8, 1948 – Feb. 19, 2014)

Mission Specialist Challenger STS-8 (1983) and Discovery STS 51-A (1984)


He left this world much too early, but he definitely also left his marks in the sands of time as one of the Space Shuttle pioneers. In 1984, on his second mission, Dale Gardner became the second astronaut to be launched on his birthday, Richard Truly having been the first during STS-2 on November 12, 1981. For a short time during mission 51-A, following in the footsteps of Bruce McCandless, Gardner resembled a human satellite while successfully performing the task of catching a “falling star.” 


“Over the radio in my spacesuit, I could hear my fellow astronauts and the folks in Houston. I put those discussions into the background and felt that it would take only an exceedingly small leap of imagination to believe that I was alone in the cosmos. This feeling was not disconcerting or frightening but rather calming… Nor was it a spiritual or religious response. The explanation that seemed to fit best was that I was not in a strange or forbidding place at all, but in a place where I – as a member of the human race – was meant to be.

I thought of those who claim that human beings should not fly because they were not given wings. Those same critics conjured up, I am sure, similar analogies for space travel. As I looked at my spacesuit and the MMU, however, I knew that we are meant to travel away from Earth because we have been given the curiosity, the intelligence and the will to devise the means and build the wonderful machines that permit such adventures.”


- Dale Gardner, recounting his MMU EVA to catch the failed Westar VI   


Following his two spaceflights, Gardner was training to fly a third time to space when the shuttle Challenger was lost in January 1986. Assigned to the first crew to launch into a polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the mission – and  West Coast shuttle launch capability – was canceled in the wake of the tragedy.

In October 1986, Gardner retired from the astronaut corps and was assigned by the Navy to U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs. For two years he acted as the deputy chief of Space Control Operations in Cheyenne Mountain before being promoted to Captain and becoming deputy director for Space Control at Peterson Air Force Base. In that position, Gardner's responsibilities included surveilling and tracking all man-made objects in Earth orbit and the protection of U.S. and friendly space systems.

In October 1990, Gardner departed the Navy to accept a position with TRW, Inc. in Colorado Springs as a program manager involved in the development of both civilian and military space and defense high technology programs. In December 2003 he joined the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, where until 2013 he was managing the applied research and development activities for biofuels, fuel cells and advanced transportation within the laboratory.

A recipient of the NASA Space Flight Medal, Dale Gardner was also awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other honors. Gardner had two children with his first wife Sue Ticusan, who he divorced in 1992. He was survived by his wife Sherry, his daughter Lisa, and two stepchildren, Erika and Christopher. He was preceded in death by his son Todd, and his father.

http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-022114a-astronaut-dale-gardner-obituary.html


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #1 on: 05/23/2015 04:14 PM »
Light and Darkness

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”

- Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)


“Which is probably the reason why I work exclusively in black and white... to highlight that contrast.”

- Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)


REMEMBER

As son of Dora and Max Nimoy, who were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, Leonard Nimoy once said that his “folks came to the U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens.” He, on the other hand, “was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien.” Logic clearly dictates that this would be the son of the Human teacher Amanda Grayson and Vulcan ambassador Sarek…

On February 27, 2015, while working on this latest installment of the Space Shuttle history reports, I received the sad news: “He’s dead, Jim.”





Rest in Peace, Leonard Nimoy. I will always remember…

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #2 on: 05/23/2015 04:17 PM »
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

It’s done! Here comes the third and final installment of my coverage of the first three missions of Challenger for the NSF shuttle history section. Producing those three reports, and the “bonus thread” dealing with OV-101 Enterprise, obviously took much longer than I had anticipated. Originally, I had planned to post the STS-8 thread in fall of 2013; now we’re well into spring of 2015…

Meanwhile, at Lindo Wing, on May 2, it has also been “mission accomplished” already for the second time in nearly twenty-two months, during which I have worked on this project… you know, I’ve told you about that other side of me before…

But anyway, I think you’ll appreciate the extra time and effort I put into these extended flight reports. It has been tremendous fun recalling the events of the early 1980s and – while combining texts and images from so many sources – being able to uncover some details I personally had missed at the time.

In fact, I’m already considering a similar project covering Columbia’s first missions, marking the 35th anniversary of STS-1 in 2016… but I can’t promise anything at this time. Next, after posting this STS-8 thread, I’ll pick up where I left in spring of 2013 – with the long, hot summer of 1990 and mission STS-41.

Here, again, are the results of my two-year effort:
 

Challenger STS-6 – A Walk into History

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33194.0


Challenger STS-7 – Sally’s Ride

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35731.0


OV-101 Enterprise – It’s Been A Long Way

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35828.0


Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1378522#msg1378522



Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #3 on: 05/23/2015 04:19 PM »
SCORPIO   

I’m really sorry for this, Dr. Sagan… But, hey, born Nov. 9, 1934 – you were a Scorpio, too!   ;)

1983 certainly had been the year that finally strengthened my bond with the Space Shuttle program – I was able to see the real thing for the first time, when the orbiter Enterprise showed up near my hometown. Of course, I now wanted to pay a return visit… and eventually made my first trip to KSC exactly ten years later – and I returned there in 1998, being able to witness the launch of Discovery STS-91.

1983 also was the year when some kids at school thought they could tease me by giving me a nickname – no, not “Ares,” but “Apollo” – because, during an English lesson, I had shared my fascination with spaceflight. Supported by my English teacher, Mr. Fabry, I had presented an essay about the Apollo 11 mission (the whole shebang, with a Saturn V model, images presented by means of an overhead projector, and tape-recorded air-to-ground communications). – Little did they know that I actually enjoyed being named after a Greek god, the American Moon landing program and a main character from one of my favorite science fiction TV shows…

And then, right before the high-profile flight (at least from the perspective of my home country) of the first West-German astronaut, Ulf Merbold, there came what I personally noted at that time as the “Scorpio Mission” – although I’m absolutely not into the pseudo-science of astrology. The stars are our destiny, but they won’t help us predict our fate! And yet, like the great Sir Arthur C. Clarke once said: “I don’t believe in astrology. I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.”

So, let’s face it, I’m a Scorpio. I was born on the 10th of November (1967)… yes, like the theologian and reformer Doctor Martin Luther (1483-1546), who between 1521 and 1534 translated the Holy Bible – and thereby actually created the modern supra-dialectal common German language – and, as a rebel against the Pope, eventually caused a major schism of Christianity; “Sturm und Drang” (“Storm and Stress”) period poet, playwright, historian and philosopher Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805); regarded British/Welsh actor, avid reader and memorable Hamlet performer, self-confessed alcoholic and two-time husband of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton (1925-1984)… and also a certain Russian guy called Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (1919-2013)… Make of that what you will! 

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #4 on: 05/23/2015 04:21 PM »
And, since this is NSF, let’s not forget Apollo 17 CMP Ron Evans (1933-1990), born Nov. 10, 1933, who became one of the first three U.S. astronauts having lifted off the launch pad in the darkness of night.

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #5 on: 05/23/2015 04:22 PM »
So, it struck me that three members of the STS-8 crew – Truly, Gardner and Bluford – were born during the Scorpio timeframe, between October 24 and November 22. That, and because I absolutely liked the launch scene depicted on that particular patch, may have been the reason why my Christmas presents in December 1985 included the STS-8 crew insignia. I was wearing this patch – with the silver letters reading “Challenger” – as well as the NASA worm logo on that dark day in late January 1986.

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #6 on: 05/23/2015 04:24 PM »
HISTORY REPEATING

"History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time."

- Anonymous


Aside from short reports about the first black astronaut and the mission’s spectacular beginning, turning night into day for miles around, STS-8 didn’t receive much news coverage in Germany. In the pre-internet era it took much effort to get some detailed information about the third flight of Challenger – which I needed for my handwritten reports about the shuttle program… yes, at that time I already produced something you may call an early, analog version of what you’re now able to enjoy here at NSF.

Challenger’s red-eye flight was not really headline news – and got totally superseded by the events surrounding another flight, called KAL 007, which tragically ended high above Sakhalin Island on September 1, 1983… 269 souls were lost and the Cold War experienced one of its rather “hot” moments. Because this was a major news item at the time the Challenger circled our blue planet, “one of the strangest and least expected confrontations between the superpowers in the annals of U.S. post-war diplomacy,” as Time magazine put it, we’ll also look at that tragedy.

"Attacking an unarmed civilian plane is like attacking a school bus," Republican Congressman Thomas F. Hartnett of South Carolina commented. Between the free world and the communist bloc it always seemed to be black or white, good or evil – although in retrospect, like in today’s disordered world, it was always more like… well, maybe not fifty, but several shades of gray.

Unfortunately, KAL 007 wasn’t the last in a long line of mistakes of consequence, of military attacks on civilian airliners. Ironically, only five years later, on July 3, 1988, it was the American guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes which accidently downed Iran Air Flight IR655 over the Persian Gulf; and most recently, on July 17, 2014, we saw Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being shot down over the disputed eastern part of Ukraine – a place of internal as well as international conflict showing potential of throwing us all back to those silly, dangerous, and sometimes deadly provocations and confrontations of the Cold War. Maybe some of the powers that be should have listened better the first time.

So, a lot did happen in the dark of the night during 1983 – awe-inspiring as well as horrible things. And once again, as we’ll be looking at light and darkness, you’re invited to join me on this journey back in time.

Let’s go.

- Oliver, aka… Apollo… aka Ares67   

:)


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #7 on: 05/23/2015 04:25 PM »
Shortcuts

“Prometheus they say,
Brought God’s fire down to man;
And we’ve caught it, tamed it, trained it,
Since our history began.

Now we’re going back to Heaven,
Just to look him in the eye.
There’s a thunder ‘cross the land,
And a fire in the sky!


- Jordin Kare, “Fire in the Sky”






Part One: STS-8 – THE COLORS OF SPACE (Crew and Mission Preview)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1378547#msg1378547

NASA at 25 / Apollo 17 – Flames Exploding Into the Darkness

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1378727#msg1378727


Part Two: STS-8 – FAST AND FURIOUS (Launch Preparations)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1378744#msg1378744


Part Three: STS-8 – DAILY FLIGHT LOG

Introduction

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1379174#msg1379174

Tuesday, August 30, 1983 (Launch Day) – Rumble, Young Man, Rumble

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1379234#msg1379234

Tuesday, August 30, 1983 (Flight Day 1) – Float Like a Butterfly

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1380771#msg1380771

Wednesday, August 31, 1983 (Flight Day 2) – Perfect Record

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1380834#msg1380834

KAL 007 / Target Destroyed

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1380950#msg1380950

Thursday, September 1, 1983 (Flight Day 3) – Pumping Iron Challenge

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382113#msg1382113

KAL 007 / Anger, Disbelief, and Profound Sadness

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382164#msg1382164

Friday, September 2, 1983 (Flight Day 4) – Another Challenging Workout

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382179#msg1382179

Saturday, September 3, 1983 (Flight Day 5) – The Extra Day

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382222#msg1382222

Sunday, September 4, 1983 (Flight Day 6) – Into the Sunset

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382598#msg1382598

Monday, September 5, 1983 (Landing Day) – Out of the Dark

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382621#msg1382621

KAL 007 / A Mistake of Consequence

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382674#msg1382674


Part Four: STS-8 – BUMPS ON THE HIGH ROAD (Post-Flight Events)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382683#msg1382683

NASA at 25 – Let’s Have Some Cake!

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382697#msg1382697

Columbia STS-9 / Spacelab 1 – The Fourth Flight of 1983

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37640.msg1382725#msg1382725

« Last Edit: 06/01/2015 12:02 AM by Ares67 »

Offline Ares67

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #8 on: 05/23/2015 04:30 PM »
Part One: STS-8 – THE COLORS OF SPACE (Crew and Mission Preview) 

“The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people
Beautiful, also, is the Sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.”


- Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967)


Aquila and Dracula

The official patch for STS-8 depicts the night launch of the orbiter Challenger’s third mission. It is a 4-inch-diameter, round emblem with a red border. The border is broken at the top by the fuel tank of the shuttle as it rockets into space. A white band encircles the inner scene, containing the surnames of the five crewmembers in red letters – the shuttle pilots “Truly” and “Brandenstein” at the top right, the mission specialists “Gardner,” “Bluford,” and “Thornton” at the bottom left.

The spacescape at the center of the patch is particularly striking. At the bottom, the Earth can be seen falling into the distance, as the shuttle powers into space. The orbiter’s main engines flash blue flame, tinged with white. At the same time, the SRB’s trail yellow and orange flames as they begin to separate from the orbiter. The entire configuration flies upside down from an earthly point of view, just as it does in an actual launch mode. Above the orbiter, the bronze-toned ET will soon separate from the spacecraft and begin its fiery descent into the Earth’s atmosphere.

In the foreground of the scene, “Challenger” is sewn in silver mylar, denoting the mission vehicle. The part of the Earth which is visible is a blue-white sphere, tinged with gold and yellow at the horizon, symbolic of the night launch and the coming sunrise. The sky behind Challenger is a dark navy-blue, devoid of detail, save of eight silver stars. These eight stars are of the constellation Aquila, “The Eagle,” and symbolize the mission designation.

STS-8 was the first shuttle mission to have an unofficial crew patch. Designed by pilot Dan Brandenstein, it was silver on black and showed the cockpit windows of the orbiter, with steely-eyed commander Dick Truly, the man who had “seen it all before,” in the commander’s seat. The four rookies in the crew, Dan Brandenstein, Guy Bluford, Dale Gardner and Bill Thornton, are looking in awe out of the pilot’s window.

This, at least, was the “official” story behind the design.

According to people who were involved in the mission, the real story behind this patch was that it showed the bespectacled mission specialist Dr. Bill Thornton, after the blood of the other crewmembers, who were frantically trying to get away from him. As part of Thornton’s investigation into space sickness, he had to take some blood from his fellow crewmembers.

It is not known whether or not this patch was actually carried onboard Challenger during the mission, but it would become a popular item in the NASA souvenir stores in the years following the flight.

(Judith Kaplan/Robert Muniz, “Space Patches,” Sterling Publishing 1986; Bert Vis/Jacques van Oene, “Unofficial Crew Patches,” Spaceflight, Vol. 41, March 1999 – edited)

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #9 on: 05/23/2015 04:32 PM »
Meet the Guy

“Above all, be diligent and persistent.”

- Guy Bluford, STS-8 Mission Specialist


(Based on J. Haskins/K. Benson: “Space Challenger,” and the JSC Oral History interview with Guy Bluford)


THINGS THAT FLY

Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr., was born on November 22, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and from childhood he has preferred to be called Guy. His mother, Lolita Harriet Bluford, taught special education classes in the Philadelphia public school system. His father, Guion S. Bluford, Sr., an inventor and mechanical engineer, designed machines. Young Guy took more after his father, than after his mother. He didn’t mind going to school, but he was much more interested in learning on his own, and what he wanted to learn about was how things work.

The oldest of three boys, Guy had lots of mechanical toys to take apart and put back together, but what interested him most were things that fly. His younger brothers, Eugene and Kenneth, did not share his interest. Guy built model airplanes and collected pictures of real airplanes. When he played table tennis, he studied the way the light ball traveled through the air and tried different ways of hitting it with the paddle to make it fly differently. He became an excellent table tennis player.

On his paper route, Guy tried different ways of folding and throwing the newspapers he delivered every day. He was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout, eventually working his way up to the rank of Star Scout. Although the rank has nothing to do with the stars in the sky, it seems fitting that the future astronaut was a Star  Scout.

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #10 on: 05/23/2015 04:37 PM »
Many young boys are interested in model airplanes. More often than not, they want to be pilots. When Guy Bluford was growing up, there were not many black pilots. There were none at all on the few commercial airlines. That is not to say that there were no blacks who could pilot planes. In 1912 Pennsylvanian Emory Malick had been the first African-American aviator; twenty years later James Herman Banning became the first black pilot to fly coast-to-coast across the U.S. The first black American to get an official international pilot’s license was a woman. Bessie Coleman got her license in 1922, but she had to go to France for her training. The Bessie Coleman School, founded in her honor, trained other black pilots at home in the United States.

By 1941, over 100 black pilots had pilot’s licenses. When the United States entered World War II, the legendary Tuskegee Airmen officially became the first African-American flying unit in the United States military; this all-black bomber squadron saw much action in Europe and won many medals for bravery. Five years after Guy Bluford was born, the sound barrier would officially be broken. More barriers, technological as well as social, would be broken – some at a snail’s pace, others at supersonic speeds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_Airmen


So, if young Guy Bluford had wanted to be a pilot, he could at least have dreamed about it. Maybe there were not many black pilots, but there had been some. Besides, he was brought up to believe that anything was possible for him. “I never felt limited as a black person,” says Guy. “My brothers and I couldn’t come home and say we’d done poorly at school because we were black. My parents wouldn’t have let us get away with that. They would have said, ‘You did poorly because you didn’t work hard enough.’

Guy was raised in an integrated Philadelphia community and went to integrated schools. While he was growing up, he never felt different because he was black. When he was in junior high school, Little Rock, Arkansas, was ordered by a federal court to integrate its schools, and there was a furor in that community. Guy read about it in the papers and remembers, “I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I remember friends of the family visiting from the South and asking me if I went to a black school. I didn’t know what they were talking about, because I just went to the local school.” Not until Guy reached college did he feel at all different because he was black.

Guy Bluford could have dreamed about becoming a pilot, but he didn’t want to be a pilot. He didn’t want to fly planes, he wanted to buildthem. “My room had airplane models and airplanes pictures all over the place,” he says. My interest wasn’t so much in flying them, but in designing them. I was fascinated with how they were put together, why they flew. My father encouraged my inquisitiveness. He had all these engineering books at home, and I was welcome to thumb through them. I decided very early that I wanted to go into the aviation business, and I wanted to be an aerospace engineer.”

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #11 on: 05/23/2015 04:37 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #12 on: 05/23/2015 04:40 PM »
NOT “COLLEGE MATERIAL”

Back in the 1950s, when Guy Bluford was in junior high school, aerospace engineering was still a very small and very new field. No one had yet gone up into space, but scientists and engineers believed it was possible. Guy was not quite 15 years old when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 in 1957, marking the beginning of the space age.

The leaders of the United States took a look at American schools and decided that students should study more math and science so that the U.S. could catch up to Russia in the space race. But no one in the schools Guy Bluford attended seemed very interested in space. Either they did not know or they did not think it important that he had been dreaming about flight even before the Russians launched Sputnik.

Guy’s high school guidance counselors did not urge him to go to college and study aerospace engineering. They did not urge him to go to college at all. Instead, they told him he was not college material. They said Guy should go to a technical school and learn a mechanical trade.

At Overbrook Senior High School, Guy was not a straight-A student. “I was a weak reader,” he explains, “and I tended to lean towards math and science rather than toward subjects that required a lot of reading.” Perhaps the counselors thought that anyone who really wanted to be an aerospace engineer had to have top grades. Perhaps they did not think a young black man could enter the field of aerospace engineering. Luckily, Guy Bluford and his parents did not pay much attention to what the counselors said. When it came time for Guy and his classmates to decide what they were going to do after graduation, Guy applied to college. And when the editors of his senior yearbook asked him what career he wanted, he said, “aerospace engineer.”

“I really wasn’t too concerned about what that counselor said. I just ignored it,” says Guy. “I’m pretty sure that all of us have had times when somebody told us we couldn’t do this or shouldn’t do that. I had such a strong interest in aerospace engineering by then that nothing a counselor said was going to stop me.”

There had never been any question in the Bluford household that all three boys would go to college. “There was no way I could have gotten out of going,” Says Guy. Both his parents had master’s degrees, and he had grandparents on both sides who’d gone to college. Guy always assumed that he had to go. He remembers that as he was about to leave for college his mother realized, “We never asked you if you wanted to go to college or not!”


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #13 on: 05/23/2015 04:41 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #14 on: 05/23/2015 04:43 PM »
A CHANGE OF DIRECTIONS

So, in the fall of 1960, Guy went to Pennsylvania State University to get a degree in aerospace engineering and went into the Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) program. “When I got to Penn State, I began to recognize that I was different because I was black,” says Guy. There were only about 400 blacks in a student body of several thousand.

The civil rights movement, which had begun in the 1950s, was in full swing by the time Guy entered college. Across the South, black people were marching and demonstrating for an end to segregation and discrimination. Although he supported the movement, Guy put his education first. “I was up to my elbows with studying – calculus, aerospace engineering, et cetera. I worked awfully hard at it,” he explains.

In the spring of 1961, after Alan Shepard’s fifteen-minute ride into space, most Americans were excited about the man who had gone up into space. Guy Bluford was excited about the craft that had taken him there. He wanted to learn how Freedom 7 worked. He wanted to design a craft that would work even better. Ever since he had started building model airplanes as a child, Guy’s main interest had been in flying machines. But by the time he graduated from Penn State, he had also become interested in flying the flying machines.

At the end of his sophomore year, Guy could have left the Air Force ROTC program, but he chose to remain in it. “It gave me an opportunity to serve my country,” he explains. “Also, the Vietnam War was starting, and I didn’t want to be out on the West Coast working for some aircraft company and get drafted.”

In his junior year, Guy failed a flight physical and so could not qualify as a pilot. He did not want to be a navigator, so he chose to spend his required four years in the Air Force after college as an engineer. During the summer after his junior year, he went to boot camp at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and there he did pass the flight physical. He also got his first ride in an Air Force T-33 plane.

“I changed directions right then and there,” he says. “I decided to go into the Air Force as a pilot. I thought that if I were a pilot, I would be a better engineer.” In his senior year at Penn State, Guy was a “full bird,” or pilot, in the Air Force ROTC. When he graduated, he received the ROTC’s Distinguished Graduate Award.


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #15 on: 05/23/2015 04:45 PM »
WHO’S THIS GUY?

While still at Penn State, Guy married Linda Tull, a fellow student. On June 12, 1964, shortly after Guy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, their first son, Guion Stewart III, was born. Guy immediately joined the Air Force. With his wife and son, he moved to Arizona for pilot training at Williams Air Force Base. He received his pilot wings in 1965. On October 25 of that same year his and Linda’s second son, James Trevor, was born.

Guy was not around much during his sons’ early year. By the time he received his pilot wings, the United States was deeply involved in the war in Vietnam. “Upon graduation, I received my assignment as a fighter pilot to fly F-4C Phantoms in Vietnam,” Guy explains. “Over the next six to seven months, I attended several courses in preparation for my new assignment. I went to the Air Force Survival School at Stead Air Force Base in Reno Nevada. Then I went to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, for three months of radar and intercept training in the F-4C. After that I went to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Florida for flight training in the F-4C Phantom.

“In October of 1966, I went to Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, Vietnam, and served as a F-4C fighter pilot in the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing. From October of 1966 to June of 1967, I flew 144 combat missions throughout Southeast Asia,” Guy says. “These missions included combat air patrol, close air-to-ground support, and air superiority flights throughout North and South Vietnam as well as Laos.”

His sons, says Guy, “were so young they don’t even remember me being gone. But when I got back, they looked at me and said, ‘Who’s this guy?’There was a period when they had to adjust to the fact that they had two parents, not just one.”


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #16 on: 05/23/2015 04:46 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #17 on: 05/23/2015 04:47 PM »

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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #18 on: 05/23/2015 04:49 PM »
GOALS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

When Guy returned to the United States in 1967, he was considered one of the best pilots in the Air Force; by 1983 he would have logged over 3,000 hours jet flight time in the T-33, T-37, T-38, F-4C, C-135 and F5A/B. By then, he also would have received an FAA commercial license. After returning from the war in Southeast Asia, he wore the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and ten USAF Air Medals.

“In June, 1967, I was assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, as a T-38 instructor pilot,” Guy says. “For the next five years, I taught both American and West German students how to fly all flight phases of the T-38 aircraft as part of the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program. This included takeoffs and landings, instrument flying, navigation flying, and formation flying. I served as an Assistant Flight Commander and Executive Support Officer to the Deputy Director of Operations of the 3630th Flying Training Wing. I got over 1,200 hours of IP (Instructor Pilot) time in T-38s and was awarded the West German Luftwaffe wings by the West German Air Force. Many of my German students went on to fly F-104 aircraft for the German Air Force and my American students went on to fly various aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory.”

But Guy had not forgotten his dream of designing aircraft. “While serving as an instructor pilot at Sheppard Air Force Base, I sought several opportunities to become an aerospace engineer within the Air Force,” he says. “Unfortunately, the Air Force was critically short of pilots at that time and thus needed my skills as an instructor pilot versus as an engineer. The Air Force also indicated that I would need to get a master’s degree in aerospace engineering if I wanted to serve in that career field. In preparation for going back to graduate school, I decided to take several advanced mathematics courses from the University of California, Berkeley, by correspondence. I elected to do my preparatory course work that way, because there were very few educational opportunities in Wichita Falls, Texas. In 1971, I applied to the Air Force Institute of Technology for the master’s degree program in aerospace engineering. In June of 1972, I was accepted into the program and was assigned to the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. This was the break I needed in order to get into the aerospace engineering career field.”

“When I arrived at the school, my goal was to get a master’s degree in aerospace engineering and find a job in the Air Force which utilized both my flight skills as well as my technical skills. I was initially assigned to get a master’s degree in AFIT’s Air Weapons Program, however, I was able to change my major to aerospace engineering. After three semesters in the master’s degree program, I had an AFIT professor recommend that I stay on for the PhD program. He said ‘You’re doing so well in the master’s degree program, you should stay on for a PhD.’

“I said, ‘Sounds fine with me.’ While in the master’s degree program I was somewhat frustrated by the fact that there was a limit on the number of aerospace engineering courses I could take. By going into the PhD program, I was able to take more aerospace engineering courses, and thus take full advantage of the opportunity being offered me by the Air Force. Thus, I applied and got accepted into the PhD program at AFIT while still completing my master’s degree requirements. I dovetailed some of the PhD course work among my master’s degree courses so that I could complete the course work for both programs in two and a quarter years.”

“In March, 1974, after completing my PhD course work, I took my doctoral exams and then was assigned to the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to complete my dissertation. I worked with Dr. Wilbur Hankey, Dr. Joe Shang and Major Scott McRae in the Aerodynamics and Airframe Branch of the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory doing research in computational fluid dynamics. Major Roger Crawford, who served as my sponsor for my master’s degree thesis, was also chairman of my doctoral committee. He was a major influence in my success at AFIT. I also served as the Deputy for Advanced Concepts for the Aeromechanics Division. In that role, I was responsible for identifying, planning, and coordinating various aerodynamic research projects. My boss was Major Kitowski, who had been an instructor at AFIT and who was serving as Branch Chief. For the next two years, I did my research and began writing my dissertation.”

“At the end of that time period, I was selected as Branch Chief of the Aerodynamics and Airframe Branch. I had completed my research for the PhD program and was in the midst of writing my dissertation,” says Guy Bluford. His paper was titled A Numerical Solution of Supersonic and Hypersonic Viscous Flow Fields around Thin Planar Delta Wings. “I calculated how the air goes around the wings at speeds greater than the speed of sound – three to four times the speed of sound and faster. If you had picked a place anywhere along a wing, I could have told you what the pressure, the density, and the velocity of the air was above and below that place. I developed a computer program that could do that.” – Not bad for someone who was not supposed to be college material!

Guy adds, “For me, at the time, being Branch Chief of the Aerodynamics and Airframe Branch was a job that I had always wanted. It was a great opportunity for me to use both my technical skills and my flying experience in developing advanced technologies for future aircraft. I led an organization of forty-five to fifty engineers, who were doing basic aerodynamic research, in such areas as forward swept wings, supercritical airfoils, advanced analytical aircraft design techniques, inlets, axisymmetric nozzles, and computational fluid dynamics. It was a great job and I was really enjoying the work.”


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Re: Challenger STS-8 – In the Dark of the Night
« Reply #19 on: 05/23/2015 04:52 PM »
THE NEXT FRONTIER

“Oh, hi! I’m Nichelle Nichols. It kind of looks like when I was Lieutenant Uhura on the starship Enterprise, doesn’t it? Well. Now there’s a twentieth century Enterprise, an actual space vehicle built by NASA and designed to put us in the business of space – not merely space exploration. NASA’s Enterprise is a space shuttlecraft, built to make regularly scheduled runs into space and back.

Now, the shuttle will be taking scientists and engineers, men and women of all races, into space – just like the astronaut crew on the starship Enterprise. That is why I’m speaking to the whole family of humankind – minorities and women included. If you qualify and would like to be an astronaut, now is the time! This is your NASA!”


- Actor Nichelle Nichols, NASA astronaut recruiting ad, 1977


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