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    NASA Career

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    Flight crews selected for early Shuttle training

    Previously published in the JSC Space News Roundup April 30, 1982
    Four two-man crews have been selected to begin training for early orbital flights of the Space Shuttle. They are: John W. Young, 47, commander and Robert L. Crippen, 40, pilot; Joe H. Engle, 45, commander and Richard H. Truly, 40, pilot; Fred W. Haise, 45, commander and Jack R. Lousma, 42, pilot; Vance D. Brand, 46, commander and Charles G. Fullerton, 41, pilot.

    Young and Crippen will be the prime flight crew for the first orbital flight test (OFT-1) scheduled for launch from the Kennedy Space Center in the spring of 1979. Engle and Truly will be their backup crew.

    Flight assignments for the others named will be made at a later date.

    NASA plans a series of six orbital flight tests, each of increasing complexity, to check out the nation's first reusable spacecraft. On the first four flights, the 75-ton orbiter will return from space to an unpowered landing on a dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Thereafter, the spacecraft will return to a specially constructed runway at its Cape Canaveral launch site.

    The space agency is currently considering a mission to boost Skylab into a higher orbit during one of the OFT flights. If the decision is made to implement that plan, prime and backup flight crews will be selected from those named.

    The Skylab reboost mission will be fairly complex, newsmen were told. Haise said that after rendezvousing and docking with Skylab, a two-burn maneuver would be required to boost Skylab about 70 nautical miles above the orbit it will be in when the mission is flown. He stated the the teleoperator will be put in a storage mode after the reboost maneuvers and would be retrieved on a later mission.

    A reporter referred to John Young as "sort of the granddaddy of spaceflight" and asked him how he felt about the anticipation and feeling concerning his first Shuttle flight compared to others he had flown. (Young has two Gemini and two Apollo flights to his credit.)

    After the laughter subsided over his having been referred to as the grandaddy, Young responded that the Shuttle is an "absolutely revolutionary flying machine." He said Shuttle will do things for spaceflight that will change the world and change aviation in ways that those presently in aviation cannot imagine.

    "The first mission will be very exciting for all of us to work on and participate in," Young stated.
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