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NASA Astronaut Group 8

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NASA Astronaut Group 8

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NASA's Astronaut Group 8 was the first selection in nine years of astronaut candidates since Group 7 in August 1969. Due to the long delay between the last Apollo lunar mission in 1972 and the first flight of the Space Shuttle in 1981, few astronauts from the older groups stayed with NASA. Thus in January 1978 a new group of 35 astronauts, including NASA's first female astronauts, was selected.[1] Since then, a new group of candidates has been selected roughly every two years.[2]

In Astronaut Group 8, two different astronaut groups were formed: pilots and mission specialists. (With shuttle classes, NASA stopped sending non-pilots for one year of UPT.) Of the 35 selected, six were women, three were male African Americans, and one was a male Asian American.

Special achievements

Within this group a sizable number of American spaceflight firsts were achieved:

(The previous seven groups had only Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps officers and civilians, with the West Point graduates having accepted commissions in the Air Force.)

Of this group, Scobee, Resnik, Onizuka, and McNair would perish in the Challenger accident.[11]

Career highlights

After the Challenger accident, Sally Ride would serve on both the Rogers Commission and the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.[3] By 2008, only Anna Fisher remained on active duty eligible for a flight assignment,[12] By 2011 she was no longer eligible for space travel and had become a management astronaut,[13] She currently works jointly for the Capsule Communicator and Exploration branches of NASA, working as a station CAPCOM and on display development for the Orion project.[14] Fisher's tenure was broken by a maternal leave of absence from 1989 to 1996. Shannon Lucid's tenure was continuous since selection, and while she, too, was no longer eligible for flight assignment, she continued to perform ground-based duties, serving as CAPCOM for shuttle missions to 2011, including the final flight day of the final mission. She retired at age 69 in 2012.[15]

Nickname

Group 8's name for itself was "TFNG." The abbreviation was deliberately ambiguous; for public purposes, it stood for "Thirty-Five New Guys"; however, within the group itself, it was known to stand for an off-color military phrase used to denote newcomers to a unit.[16]

Group members

Pilots

STS-8 Challenger — August 1983 — Pilot — INSAT-1B satellite deployment mission[17]
Arabsat-1B, Morelos I, and Telstar 3D satellite deployment mission[17]
STS-32 Columbia — January 1990 — Commander — Syncom IV-5 satellite deployment; Long Duration Exposure Facility retrieval mission[17]
STS-49 Endeavour — May 1992 — Commander — Intelsat VI repair mission[17]
STS-41-D Discovery — August 1984 — Pilot — SBS-D, Telstar 3C, and Syncom IV-2 satellite deployment mission[18]
STS-29 Discovery — March 1989 — Commander — TDRS D satellite deployment mission[18]
STS-39 Discovery — April 1991 — Commander — United States Department of Defense mission; carried AFP-675[18]
STS-51-I Discovery — August 1985 — Pilot — AUSSAT-I, ASC-I, and Syncom IV-4 satellite deployment; Syncom IV-3 repair mission[19]
STS-26 Discovery — September 1988 — Pilot — TDRS C satellite deployment mission[19]
STS-38 Atlantis — November 1990 — Commander — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-67 (either SDS-2 or Magnum)[19]
STS-61 Endeavour — December 1993 — Commander — Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission # 1[19]
Arabsat-1B, Morelos I, and Telstar 3D satellite deployment mission[20]
STS-36 Atlantis — February 1990 — Commander — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-53 (Misty)[20]
STS-48 Discovery — September 1991 — Commander — Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite deployment mission[20]
STS-41-B Challenger — February 1984 — Pilot — Westar 6 and Palapa B2 satellite deployment mission[9]
STS-61-C Columbia — January 1986 — Commander — Satcom K1 satellite deployment mission[9]
STS-27 Atlantis — December 1988 — Commander — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-34 (Lacrosse-1)[9]
STS-47 Endeavour — September 1992 — Commander — Spacelab mission[9]
STS-71 Atlantis — June 1995 — Commander — Shuttle-Mir docking[9]
STS-51-B Challenger — April 1985 — Pilot — Spacelab mission[21]
STS-33 Discovery — November 1989 — Commander — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-48 (Magnum 2)[21]
STS-44 Atlantis — November 1991 — Commander — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed a DSP satellite[21]
STS-51-D Discovery — April 1985 — Mission Specialist — Anik C-1 and Syncom IV-3 satellite deployment mission[22]
Griggs was assigned as Pilot for STS-33, but was killed in a plane accident several months before the launch
STS-7 Challenger — June 1983 — Pilot — Anik C-2 and Palapa B1 satellite deployment mission[23]
STS-51-A Discovery — November 1984 — Commander — Anik D-2 and Syncom IV-1 satellite deployment; Westar 6 and Palapa B2 satellite retrieval mission[23]
STS-26 Discovery — September 1988 — Commander — TDRS C satellite deployment mission[23]
STS-41-G Challenger — October 1984 — Pilot — Earth Radiation Budget Satellite deployment mission[24]
Arabsat-1B, Morelos I, and Telstar 3D satellite deployment mission[25]
STS-61-A Challenger — October 1985 — Pilot — Spacelab mission[25]
STS-37 Atlantis — April 1991 — Commander — Compton Gamma Ray Observatory deployment mission[25]
STS-55 Columbia — April 1993 — Commander — Spacelab mission[25]
STS-41-C Challenger — April 1984 — Pilot — Long Duration Exposure Facility deployment and Solar Max repair mission[26]
STS-51-L Challenger — January 1986 — Commander — TDRS B satellite deployment mission[26]
STS-9 Columbia — November 1983 — Pilot — Spacelab mission[27]
STS-61-B Atlantis — November 1985 — Commander — Morelos-B, and AUSSAT-2 satellite deployment mission[27]
STS-28 Columbia — August 1989 — Commander — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-40 (SDS-2)[27]
STS-51-C Discovery — January 1985 — Pilot — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-8 (Magnum 1)[28]
STS-31 Discovery — April 1990 — Commander — Hubble Space Telescope deployment mission[28]
STS-46 Atlantis — July 1992 — Commander — EURECA deployment and Tethered Satellite System mission[28]
STS-51-A Discovery — November 1984 — Pilot — Anik D-2 and Syncom IV-1 satellite deployment; Westar 6 and Palapa B2 satellite retrieval mission[29]
STS-30 Atlantis — May 1989 — Commander — Magellan probe deployment mission[29]
STS-53 Discovery — December 1992 — Commander — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-89 (SDS-2)[29]
STS-69 Endeavour — September 1995 — Commander — Wake Shield Facility and Spartan 201 mission[29]
STS-51-D Discovery — April 1985 — Pilot — Anik C-1 and Syncom IV-3 satellite deployment mission[30]
STS-34 Atlantis — October 1989 — Commander — Galileo probe deployment mission[30]

Mission specialists

Guion Bluford, the first African-American in space.
STS-8 Challenger — August 1983 — INSAT-1B satellite deployment mission[4]
STS-61-A Challenger — October 1985 — Spacelab mission[4]
STS-39 Discovery — April 1991 — United States Department of Defense mission; carried AFP-675[4]
STS-53 Discovery — December 1992 — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-89 (SDS-2)[4]
STS-51-C Discovery — January 1985 — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-8 (Magnum 1)[31]
STS-61-A Challenger — October 1985 — Spacelab mission[31]
STS-29 Discovery — March 1989 — TDRS D satellite deployment mission[31]
STS-48 Discovery — September 1991 — Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite deployment mission[31]
STS-7 Challenger — June 1983 — Anik C-2 and Palapa B1 satellite deployment mission[32]
Arabsat-1B, Morelos 1, and Telstar 3D satellite deployment mission[32]
STS-51-A Discovery — November 1984 — Anik D-2 and Syncom IV-1 satellite deployment; Westar 6 and Palapa B2 satellite retrieval mission[12]
STS-8 Challenger — August 1983 — INSAT-1B satellite deployment mission[33]
STS-51-A Discovery — November 1984 — Anik D-2 and Syncom IV-1 satellite deployment; Westar 6 and Palapa B2 satellite retrieval mission[33]
STS-41-C Challenger — April 1984 — Long Duration Exposure Facility deployment and Solar Max repair mission[34]
STS-41-D Discovery — August 1984 — SBS-D, Telstar 3C, and Syncom IV-2 satellite deployment mission[35]
STS-61-C Columbia — January 1986 — Satcom K1 satellite deployment mission[35]
STS-31 Discovery — April 1990 — Hubble Space Telescope deployment mission[35]
STS-82 Discovery — February 1997 — Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission # 2[35]
STS-93 Columbia — July 1999 — Chandra X-ray Observatory deployment mission[35]
STS-51-D Discovery — April 1985 — Anik C-1 and Syncom IV-3 satellite deployment mission[36]
STS-35 Columbia — December 1990 — Spacelab mission[36]
STS-46 Atlantis — July 1992 — EURECA deployment and Tethered Satellite System mission[36]
STS-61 Endeavour — December 1993 — Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission # 1[36]
STS-75 Columbia — February 1996 — EDO mission[36]
Arabsat-1B, Morelos 1, and Telstar 3D satellite deployment mission[8]
STS-34 Atlantis — October 1989 — Galileo probe deployment mission[8]
STS-43 Atlantis — August 1991 — TDRS E satellite deployment mission[8]
STS-58 Columbia — October 1993 — Spacelab/EDO mission[8]
STS-76 Atlantis — March 1996 — Shuttle-Mir docking (launch)[8]
Mir NASA-1 — second American long-duration increment on Mir[8]
STS-79 Atlantis — September 1996 — Shuttle-Mir docking (landing)[8]
STS-41-B Challenger — February 1984 — Westar 6 and Palapa B2 satellite deployment mission[37]
STS-51-L Challenger — January 1986 — TDRS B satellite deployment mission[37]
STS-41-D Discovery — August 1984 — SBS-D, Telstar 3C, and Syncom IV-2 satellite deployment mission[38]
STS-27 Atlantis — December 1988 — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-34 (Lacrosse-1)[38]
STS-36 Atlantis — February 1990 — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-53 (Misty)[38]
STS-41-C Challenger — April 1984 — Long Duration Exposure Facility deployment and Solar Max repair mission[39]
STS-61-C Columbia — January 1986 — Satcom K1 satellite deployment mission[39]
STS-26 Discovery — September 1988 — TDRS C satellite deployment mission[39]
Ellison Onizuka, the first Asian-American in space.
STS-51-C Discovery — January 1985 — United States Department of Defense mission; deployed USA-8 (Magnum 1)[6]
STS-51-L Challenger — January 1986 — TDRS B satellite deployment mission[6]
STS-41-D Discovery — August 1984 — SBS-D, Telstar 3C, and Syncom IV-2 satellite deployment mission[40]
STS-51-L Challenger — January 1986 — TDRS B satellite deployment mission[40]
Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.
  • Sally Ride (1951–2012), Physicist (2 flights) — First American woman in space[3]
STS-7 Challenger — June 1983 — Anik C-2 and Palapa B1 satellite deployment mission[3]
STS-41-G Challenger — October 1984 — Earth Radiation Budget Satellite deployment mission[3]
STS-51-D Discovery — April 1985 — Anik C-1 and Syncom IV-3 satellite deployment mission[10]
STS-40 Columbia — June 1991 — Spacelab mission[10]
STS-58 Columbia — October 1993 — Spacelab/EDO mission[10]
STS-41-B Challenger — February 1984 — Westar 6 and Palapa B2 satellite deployment mission[41]
STS-51-J Atlantis — October 1985 — United States Department of Defense mission; DSCS-III satellite deployment[41]
STS-41-G Challenger — October 1984 — Earth Radiation Budget Satellite deployment mission[5]
STS-31 Discovery — April 1990 — Hubble Space Telescope deployment mission[5]
STS-45 Atlantis — March 1992 — Spacelab mission[5]
STS-7 Challenger — June 1983 — Anik C-2 and Palapa B1 satellite deployment mission[7]
STS-51-B Challenger — April 1985 — Spacelab mission[7]
STS-30 Atlantis — May 1989 — Magellan probe deployment mission[7]
STS-42 Discovery — January 1992 — Spacelab mission[7]
Soyuz TM-21 — March 1995 — Shuttle-Mir Program, first American to launch in a Russian rocket[7]
Mir EO-18 — first American long-duration increment on Mir[7]
STS-71 Atlantis — July 1995 — Shuttle-Mir docking (landing)[7]
STS-41-C Challenger — April 1984 — Long Duration Exposure Facility deployment and Solar Max repair mission[42]
STS-51-I Discovery — August 1985 — AUSSAT-I, ASC-I, and Syncom IV-4 satellite deployment; Syncom IV-3 repair mission[42]

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e
  4. ^ a b c d e f
  5. ^ a b c d e
  6. ^ a b c d
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  9. ^ a b c d e f g
  10. ^ a b c d e
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c
  13. ^ See Kristin Fisher and Walker Forehand wedding announcement, New York Times, April 1, 2011
  14. ^ Anna Fisher bio, NASA, August 2012
  15. ^ "Shuttle-era astronauts Lucid and Ross retire from NASA", Spaceflight now, January 31, 2012. Accessed April 13, 2013
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b c d e
  18. ^ a b c d
  19. ^ a b c d e
  20. ^ a b c d
  21. ^ a b c d
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^ a b c d
  24. ^ a b
  25. ^ a b c d e
  26. ^ a b c
  27. ^ a b c d
  28. ^ a b c d
  29. ^ a b c d e
  30. ^ a b c
  31. ^ a b c d e
  32. ^ a b c
  33. ^ a b c
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^ a b c d e f
  36. ^ a b c d e f
  37. ^ a b c
  38. ^ a b c d
  39. ^ a b c d
  40. ^ a b c
  41. ^ a b c
  42. ^ a b c

External links

  • Astronaut Biographies: Home Page
  • Astronaut Selection and Training
  • NASA Group 8 at Encyclopedia Astronautica
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