Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Skylab 4
Astronaut Gerald P. Carr flies the Astronaut Manoeuvring Equipment in the OWS
Credit: NASA
Skylab 4
Astronaut Gerald Carr during EVA on Skylab 4
Credit: NASA
Carr, Gerald Paul 'Gerry' (1932-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Skylab 4.

Grew up in Santa Ana, California. US Marine Corps officer. Total EVA Time: 0.66 days. Number of EVAs: 3.

Official NASA Biography

NAME: Gerald P. Carr (Colonel, USMC (Retired))

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born in Denver, Colorado, on August 22, 1932, but raised in Santa Ana, California, which he considers his hometown. His mother, Mrs. Freda L. Carr, resides in Balboa Island, CA.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; blue eyes; height: 5 feet 9 inches; weight: 160 pounds.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Santa Ana High School, Santa Ana, California; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1954 and in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1961, and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Princeton University in 1962; also presented an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Parks College of Saint Louis University, Cahokia, Illinois, in 1976.

MARITAL STATUS: Divorced. Remarried in 1979 to Dr. Patricia L. Musick.

CHILDREN: Jennifer Anne, July 31, 1955; Jamee Adele and Jeffrey Ernest, July 3, 1958; John Christian, April 4, 1962; Jessica Louise and Joshua Lee, March 12, 1964.

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys sailing, playing racquetball, bird hunting, and fishing. His hobbies include woodworking and restoration of an old automobile.

ORGANIZATIONS: Fellow of the American Astronautical Society; a Director of the Sunsat Energy Council; a Director of the Houston POPS Orchestra; a Director of the Space Foundation; the Marine Corps Association and the Marine Corps Aviation Association; Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Society of American Military Engineers; Texas Society of Professional Engineers; National Society of Professional Engineers; Executive Board, Sam Houston Council Boy Scouts of America; Governmental Affairs Committee, Houston Chamber of Commerce; National Space Institute; University of Southern California Alumni Association, and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, and a letter of Commendation from the Commander of Carrier Division II; received the NASA Group Achievement Award, 1971; NASA Distinguished Service Medal, 1974; Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the Navy Astronaut Wings, 1974; City of Chicago Gold Medal, 1974; University of Southern California Alumni Merit Award, 1974; Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, 1974; Robert J. Collier Trophy for 1973, in 1974; City of New York Gold Medal, 1974; Marine Corps Aviation Association's Exceptional Achievement Award, 1974; Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy, 1975; also recipient of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale's Gold Space Medal; De La Vaulx Medal, and V. M. Komarov Diploma for 1974; AIAA Haley Astronautics Award for 1974; and the American Astronautical Society's 1975 Flight Achievement Award.

EXPERIENCE: When informed by NASA of his selection for astronaut training, he was assigned to the test directors section of Marine Air Control Squadron Three, a unit responsible for the testing and evaluation of the Marine Tactical Data System.

Carr began his military career in 1949 with the Navy, and in 1950 he was appointed a midshipman (NROTC) and enrolled in the University of Southern California. Upon graduation in 1954, he received his commission and subsequently reported to the U.S. Marine Corps Officers' Basic School at Quantico, Virginia. He received flight training at Pensacola, Florida, and Kingsville, Texas, and was then assigned to Marine All-Weather-Fighter-Squadron 114 where he gained experience in the F-9 and the F-6A Skyray. After postgraduate training, he served with Marine All- Weather-Fighter-Squadron 122, from 1962 to 1965, piloting the F-8 Crusader in the United States and the Far East. Other aircraft he has flown include the F-4, T-1, T-28, T- 33, T-38, H-13, and ground effect machines.

He has logged more than 6,100 flying hours, 5,365 hours of which are jet time.

Colonel Carr was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crews and as CAPCOM for the Apollo 8 and 12 flights, and was involved in the development and testing of the lunar roving vehicle which was used on the lunar surface by Apollo flight crews.

Carr was commander of Skylab 4 (third and final manned visit to the Skylab Orbital Workshop), launched November 16, 1973, and concluded February 8, 1974. This was the longest manned flight (84 days, 1 hour, 15 minutes) in the history of manned space exploration to date. He was accompanied on the record-setting 34.5-million-mile flight by Dr. Edward G. Gibson (science pilot) and William R. Pogue (pilot). The crew successfully completed 56 experiments, 26 science demonstrations, 15 subsystem detailed objectives, and 13 student investigations during their 1,214 revolutions of the earth. They also acquired extensive earth resources observations data using hand-held cameras and Skylab's Earth Resources Experiment Package camera and sensor array. They logged 338 hours of operation of the Apollo Telescope Mount which made extensive observations of the sun's solar processes.

From February 1974 until March 1978, Colonel Carr and his Skylab 4 teammates shared the world record for individual time in space: 2,017 hours 15 minutes 32 seconds, and Carr logged 15 hours and 48 minutes in three EVAs outside the Orbital Workshop.

In mid-1974 Carr was named head of the design support group, within the astronaut office, responsible for providing crew support to such activities as space transportation system design, simulations, testing, and safety assessment, and for development of man/machine interface requirements.

Carr retired from the United States Marine Corps in September of 1975 and from NASA in June of 1977. He is a Senior Consultant on Special Staff to the President of Applied Research, Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with offices in Santa Clara, California, and Houston, Texas.

Currently President, CAMUS, Inc., Huntsville, Arkansas.


Birth Place: Denver, Colorado.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1932.08.22.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 84.05 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...
  • NASA Group 5 - 1966 Requirement: pilot-astronauts for the Apollo Applications Program (then planned as 10 lunar landings after Apollo 11 and 30 Apollo flights to earth-orbit space stations). Nickname: The Original Nineteen More...

Associated Flights
  • Skylab 4 Crew: Carr, Gibson Edward, Pogue. Record flight duration. Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Backup crew: Brand, Lenoir, Lind. More...
  • Apollo 19 Crew: Haise, Pogue, Carr. Apollo 19 was originally planned to land in the Hyginus Rille region, which would allow study of lunar linear rilles and craters.The original July 1972 landing date was extended when NASA cancelled the Apollo 20 mission in January 1970.Support crew: England, Hartsfield, Peterson. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Programs
  • Skylab First and only US space station to date. Project began life as Apollo Orbital Workshop - outfitting of an S-IVB stage with docking adapter with equipment launched by several subsequent S-1B launches. Curtailment of the Apollo moon landings meant that surplus Saturn V's were available, so the pre-equipped, five times heavier, and much more capable Skylab resulted. More...

  • NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Carr Chronology

1966 April 4 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 5 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brand; Bull; Carr; Duke; Engle; Evans; Givens; Haise; Irwin; Lind; Lousma; Mattingly; McCandless; Mitchell; Pogue; Roosa; Swigert; Weitz; Worden. The group was selected to provide pilot-astronauts for the Apollo Applications Program (then planned as 10 lunar landings after Apollo 11 and 30 Apollo flights to earth-orbit space stations).. Qualifications: Qualified jet pilot with minimum 1,000 flight-hours, bachleor's degree in engineering or physical or biological sciences, under 35 years old, under 183 cm height, excellent health. US citizen.. 351 applications (including six women and a legless US Navy pilot). All 19, except X-15 astronaut Engle, would fly into space on Apollo or Skylab missions. Engle and six others would fly shuttle missions.

1973 November 16 - . 14:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-208.
  • Skylab 4 - . Call Sign: Skylab. Crew: Carr; Gibson, Edward; Pogue. Backup Crew: Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Payload: Apollo CSM 118. Mass: 20,847 kg (45,959 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Gibson, Edward; Pogue; Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Skylab. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 84.05 days. Decay Date: 1974-02-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 6936 . COSPAR: 1973-090A. Apogee: 437 km (271 mi). Perigee: 422 km (262 mi). Inclination: 50.0000 deg. Period: 93.10 min. Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totalling 22 hours, 13 minutes. Increased manned space flight time record by 50%. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Biological experiments included two Mummichog fish (Fundulus heteroclitus).

    The space vehicle consisted of a modified Apollo CSM and a Saturn IB launch vehicle. All launch phase events were normal, and the CSM was inserted into a 150.1- by 227.08-km orbit. The rendezvous sequence was performed according to the anticipated timeline. Stationkeeping was initiated about seven and one-half hours after liftoff, and hard docking was achieved about 30 minutes later following two unsuccessful docking attempts. Planned duration of the mission was 56 days, with the option of extending it to a maximum of 84 days.

1973 December - .
1973 December 25 - . 16:00 GMT - .
  • EVA Skylab 4-2 - . Crew: Carr; Pogue. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.29 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Pogue. Program: Skylab. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Photographed Comet Kohoutek and replaced solar camera film cartridges..

1973 December 29 - . 17:00 GMT - .
1974 February 3 - . 15:19 GMT - .
  • EVA Skylab 4-4 - . Crew: Carr; Gibson, Edward. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.22 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Gibson, Edward. Program: Skylab. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Retrieved solar camera film cartridges and external materials exposure package..

1974 February 8 - .
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