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Tag: Astronaut

Paul Weitz: Skylab and shuttle astronaut dies aged 85

Paul Weitz: Skylab and shuttle astronaut dies aged 85

Science
US astronaut Paul Weitz, who helped save a Nasa space station after it was damaged during launch, has died aged 85.Mr Weitz, who died at a retirement home in Flagstaff, Arizona, also served as the first commander of the space shuttle Challenger.He was a naval aviator before joining Nasa in 1966.He was the pilot on the first mission to Skylab, the US space station which orbited Earth from 1973 to 1979.The orbiting laboratory had been launched without crew on 14 May 1973. But a shield to protect the station from collisions with small meteorites had torn loose during lift-off. The shield also protected Skylab against extremes of temperature, and without it, the station began to overheat.Mr Weitz and his fellow crew members Pete Conrad and Joseph Kerwin were supposed to launch on 15 May. But N...
Astronaut Peggy Whitson home safe after record stay aboard space station

Astronaut Peggy Whitson home safe after record stay aboard space station

Science
Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Astronaut Peggy Whitson is home safe after spending a record 288 days on the International Space Station.Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT on Saturday aboard a Soyuz capsule. Whitson was joined for the trip home by NASA colleague Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikin of Roscosmos.Whitson's 288-day mission is the record for most consecutive days spent in space by an American. She has now spent a cumulative of 665 days in space, also a record for U.S. astronauts.While aboard ISS, Whitson executed four spacewalks. Her career 10 spacewalks mark another U.S. record. Across three space station missions, Whitson has spent 60 hours and 21 minutes outside ISS.The most experienced astronaut in history said she's excited to eat pizza and use flushable toilets ...
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin rolls out the red carpet for Mars

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin rolls out the red carpet for Mars

Technology
Forty-eight years after he landed on the moon, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin rolled out a red carpet for the red planet at a star-studded gala at the Kennedy Space Center. Aldrin, 87, commemorated the upcoming anniversary of the 1969 mission to the moon under a historic Saturn V rocket Saturday and raised more than $ 190,000 for his nonprofit space education foundation, ShareSpace Foundation. Aldrin believes people will be able to land on Mars by 2040, a goal NASA shares. The space agency is developing the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft to send Americans to deep space. Apollo astronauts Walt Cunningham, Michael Collins and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt joined Aldrin, one of 12 people to walk on the moon, at the sold-out fundraiser. "I like to think of myself as an innovative fut...