Encyclopedia Astronautica
Gibson



igibsonr.jpg
Gibson
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
10076345.jpg
Skylab 4
Astronaut Edward Gibson stands at Apollo Telescope Mount in Skylab
Credit: NASA
Gibson, Robert Lee 'Hoot' (1946-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-61-C, STS-27, STS-47, STS-71. Flew combat missions over Vietnam. Was married to astronaut Rhea Seddon.

Gibson was the 'Chuck Yeager' of the TFNG. He was a natural flyer who worked on the weekends on his homebuilt racing plane, and flew classic aircraft and MiG's with a preservation group. At the same time he was a natural leader, a great looker, and so utterly charming that the most ardent feminist would swoon over him despite his constant sexist comments. Blonde, a surfer and motorcycle rider in his youth, he was also lead singer and guitarist in the astronaut band Max Q. He even managed to date the militant feminist astronaut Ride, but finally married astronaut Seddon. After leaving the astronaut corps he became a pilot for Southwest Airlines.


NASA Official Biography

NAME: Robert L. Gibson (Captain, USN)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Born October 30, 1946, in Cooperstown, New York, but considers Lakewood, California, to be his hometown. Married to Dr. M. Rhea Seddon of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Four children. He enjoys home built aircraft, formula one air racing, running and surfing during his free time. His mother, Mrs. Paul A. Gibson, resides in Seal Beach, California. His father is deceased. Her father, Mr. Edward C. Seddon, resides in Murfreesboro; her mother is deceased.

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Huntington High School, Huntington, New York, in 1964; received an associate degree in engineering science from Suffolk County Community College in 1966, and a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from California Polytechnic State University in 1969.

SPECIAL HONORS:
Awarded the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) "Louis Bleriot Medal" (1992), and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) "Freedom of Flight" Award (1989). Established world records for "Altitude in Horizontal Flight," Airplane Class C1A in 1991, and "Time to Climb to 9000 Meters" in 1994. Military awards include: the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Distinguished Flying Cross; 3 Air Medals; the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V"; a Navy Unit Commendation; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; and Vietnam Campaign Medal.

EXPERIENCE:
Gibson entered active duty with the Navy in 1969. He received primary and basic flight training at Naval Air Stations Saufley Field and Pensacola, Florida, and Meridian, Mississippi, and completed advanced flight training at the Naval Air Station at Kingsville, Texas.

While assigned to Fighter Squadrons 111 and 1, during the period April 1972 to September 1975, he saw duty aboard the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and the USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) -- flying combat missions in Southeast Asia. He is a graduate of the Naval Fighter Weapons School, "Topgun." Gibson returned to the United States and an assignment as an F-14A instructor pilot with Fighter Squadron 124. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Maryland, in June 1977, and later became involved in the test and evaluation of F-14A aircraft while assigned to the Naval Air Test Center's Strike Aircraft Test Directorate.

His flight experience includes over 6,000 hours in over 50 types of civil and military aircraft. He holds airline transport pilot, multi-engine, and instrument ratings, and has held a private pilot rating since age 17. Gibson has also completed over 300 carrier landings.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
Selected by NASA in January 1978, Gibson became an astronaut in August 1979. Gibson has flown five missions: STS 41-B in 1984, STS 61-C in 1986, STS-27 in 1988, STS-47 in 1992, and STS-71 in 1995. Gibson served as Chief of the Astronaut Office (December 1992 to September 1994) and as Deputy Director, Flight Crew Operations (March-November 1996).

On his first space flight Gibson was the pilot on the crew of STS 41-B which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on February 3, 1984. The flight accomplished the proper Shuttle deployment of two Hughes 376 communications satellites which failed to reach desired geosynchronous orbits due to upper stage rocket failures. Rendezvous sensors and computer programs were flight tested for the first time. The STS 41-B mission marked the first checkout of the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU),and Manipulator Foot Restraint (MFR), with Bruce McCandless and Bob Stewart performing two spectacular EVA's (space walks). The German Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), Remote Manipulator System (RMS), six "Getaway Specials," and materials processing experiments were included on the mission. The eight-day orbital flight of Challenger culminated in the first landing on the runway at the Kennedy Space Center on February 11, 1984, and Gibson logged 191 hours in space.

Gibson was the spacecraft commander of the STS 61-C mission. The seven-man crew on board the Orbiter Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on January 12, 1986. During the six-day flight the crew deployed the SATCOM KU satellite and conducted experiments in astrophysics and materials processing. The mission concluded with a successful night landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on January 18, 1986, and logged him an additional 146 hours in space.

Gibson subsequently participated in the investigation of the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, and also participated in the redesign and recertification of the solid rocket boosters.

As the spacecraft commander of STS-27, Gibson and his five-man crew launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on December 2, 1988, aboard the Orbiter Atlantis. The mission carried a Department of Defense payload, and a number of secondary payloads. After 68 orbits of the Earth the mission concluded with a dry lakebed landing on Runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on December 6, 1988. Mission duration was 105 hours.

On Gibson's fourth space flight, the 50th Space Shuttle mission, he served as spacecraft commander of STS-47, Spacelab-J, which launched on September 12, 1992 aboard the Orbiter Endeavour. The mission was a cooperative venture between the United States and Japan, and included the first Japanese astronaut as a member of the seven-person crew. During the eight-day flight, the crew focused on life science and materials processing experiments in over forty investigations in the Spacelab laboratory, as well as scientific and engineering tests performed aboard the Orbiter Endeavour. The mission ended with a successful landing on the runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after 126 orbits of the Earth on September 20, 1992.

Most recently, (June 27 to July 7, 1995), Captain Gibson commanded a crew of seven-members (up) and eight-members (down) on Space Shuttle mission STS-71. This was the first Space Shuttle mission to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir, and involved an exchange of crews. The Atlantis Space Shuttle was modified to carry a docking system compatible with the Russian Mir Space Station. It also carried a Spacelab module in the payload bay in which the crew performed various life sciences experiments and data collections. Mission duration was 235 hours, 23 minutes.

In five space flights, Gibson has completed a total of 36-1/2 days in space.

Gibson left NASA in mid-November to pursue private business interests.

NOVEMBER 1996

Characteristics

Departed Date: 1996-11-15. Marital Status: Married. Children: Four children. Childhood: Grew up in Lakewood, California.. Education: CalPoly;Patuxent.

Birth Place: Cooperstown, New York.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1946.10.30.
Spaceflights: 5 .
Total time in space: 36.18 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 8 - 1978 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. Nickname: TFNG - Thirty-Five New Guys, also an obscene military phrase. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-41-B Crew: Brand, Gibson, McCandless, McNair, Stewart. First untethered space walk. First shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center. Manned five crew. Deployed Westar 6, Palapa B2; tested Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). O-ring erosion in both the right hand nozzle joint and the left SRB forward field joint. More...
  • STS-61-C Crew: Bolden, Cenker, Chang-Diaz, Gibson, Hawley, Nelson, Nelson Bill. Manned seven crew. Launched Satcom K1. Second politician in space; he bumped Jarvis to later launch on which he was killed. Launch scrub saved crew from death due to undetected jammed SSME valve. Experienced nozzle joint O-ring erosion. More...
  • STS-27 Crew: Gardner Guy, Gibson, Mullane, Ross, Shepherd. Manned military mission, five crew. Robot arm used to deploy a classified satellite. At T+85 seconds a large piece of SRB nose cone struck the shuttle. The orbiter took 707 hits; one tile was knocked off. The crew was unsure if they would survive reentry. More...
  • STS-47 Crew: Apt, Brown, Davis, Gibson, Jemison, Lee, Mohri. First on-time Shuttle launch since November 1985. First Japanese astronaut aboard shuttle. First African-American woman to fly in space. First married couple to fly on the same space mission Carried Spacelab-J with microgravity and biology experiments. More...
  • Mir EO-19 Crew: Budarin, Solovyov. First Russian crew delivered to Mir space station aboard the space shuttle. Backup crew: Onufrienko, Usachyov. More...
  • STS-71 Crew: Baker, Dunbar, Gibson, Harbaugh, Precourt. First docking of a US spacecraft with the Mir space station. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Mir The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps. More...
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

Bibliography
  • NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Mullane, Mike, Riding Rockets, Scribner, New York, 2006.

Gibson Chronology


1978 January 16 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 8 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Brandenstein; Buchli; Coats; Covey; Creighton; Fabian; Fisher; Gardner; Gibson; Gregory; Griggs; Hart; Hauck; Hawley; Hoffman; Lucid; McBride; McNair; Mullane; Nagel; Nelson; Onizuka; Resnik; Ride; Scobee; Seddon; Shaw; Shriver; Stewart; Sullivan. The group was selected to provide pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. Qualifications: Pilots: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. Advanced degree desirable. At least 1,000 flight-hours of pilot-in-command time. Flight test experience desirable. Excellent health. Vision minimum 20/50 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 vision; maximum sitting blood pressure 140/90. Height between 163 and 193 cm.

    Mission Specialists: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics and minimum three years of related experience or an advanced degree. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. 8,079 applicants, of which half met the basic qualifications. 208 invited for physical tests and interviews. Of the 35 selected, six were women, three were male African-Americans, and one was a male Asian-American.


1984 February 3 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-11/41-B.
  • STS-41-B - . Call Sign: Challenger. Crew: Brand; Gibson; McCandless; McNair; Stewart. Payload: Challenger F04 / SPAS 1A. Mass: 15,362 kg (33,867 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brand; Gibson; McCandless; McNair; Stewart. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-41-B. Spacecraft: Challenger. Duration: 7.97 days. Decay Date: 1984-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 14681 . COSPAR: 1984-011A. Apogee: 316 km (196 mi). Perigee: 307 km (190 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.80 min. Manned five crew. Deployed Westar 6, Palapa B2; tested Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). Payloads: PALAPA-B2 (Indonesian communications satellite) with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D and WESTAR (Western Union communications satellite)-Vl with PAM-D. Both satellites were deployed but the PAM-D in each satellite failed to ignite, leaving both satellites in earth orbit. Both satellites were retrieved and returned to earth for renovation on the STS-51-A mission. The manned maneuvering unit (MMU) was tested with extravehicular astronauts as free flyers without tethers as far as 98 m from the orbiter. Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS)-01 experiments, Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Isoelectric Focusing Experiment (lEF), Acoustic Containerless Experiment System (ACES), Cinema 360 cameras, five getaway specials (GAS), Aerodynamic Coefficient Identification (ACIP)/High Resolution Accelerom-eter Package (HIRAP).

1984 February 11 - .
1986 January 12 - . 11:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-32/61-C.
  • STS-61-C - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Bolden; Cenker; Chang-Diaz; Gibson; Hawley; Nelson; Nelson, Bill. Payload: Columbia F07 Satcom-K 1 [PAM-D2]. Mass: 14,724 kg (32,460 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bolden; Cenker; Chang-Diaz; Gibson; Hawley; Nelson; Nelson, Bill. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61-C. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 6.09 days. Decay Date: 1986-01-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 16481 . COSPAR: 1986-003A. Apogee: 338 km (210 mi). Perigee: 331 km (205 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 91.20 min. Manned seven crew. Launched Satcom K1. Payloads: Deploy SATCOM (RCA-Satellite Communi-cations) Ku-1 with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D II. Materials Science Laboratory, Comet Halley Active Monitoring Experiment (CHAMP), Hitchhiker (HH) Goddard (G)-1, thirteen getaway specials (GAS), student experiment, Initial Blood Storage Equipment (lBSE), Characterization of Space Motion Sickness (SMS).

1986 January 18 - .
1988 December 2 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-27R.
  • STS-27 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Gardner, Guy; Gibson; Mullane; Ross; Shepherd. Payload: Atlantis F03 / Lacrosse 1. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gardner, Guy; Gibson; Mullane; Ross; Shepherd. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-27. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 4.38 days. Decay Date: 1988-12-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 19670 . COSPAR: 1988-106A. Apogee: 447 km (277 mi). Perigee: 437 km (271 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 93.40 min. Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Orbits of Earth: 68. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 359 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 447.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,171.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission.

1988 December 6 - .
1992 September 12 - . 14:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-47.
  • STS-47 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Apt; Brown; Davis; Gibson; Jemison; Lee; Mohri. Payload: Endeavour F02 / Spacelab-J. Mass: 12,772 kg (28,157 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Apt; Brown; Davis; Gibson; Jemison; Lee; Mohri. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-47. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 7.94 days. Decay Date: 1992-09-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 22120 . COSPAR: 1992-061A. Apogee: 310 km (190 mi). Perigee: 297 km (184 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned seven crew. Carried Spacelab-J with microgravity and biology experiments. Payloads: Spacelab-J, nine getaway special canister experiments, Israel Space Agency Investigation About Hornets (ISAIAH), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II, Solid Surface Combus-tion Experiment (SSCE).

1992 September 20 - .
1995 June 27 - . 19:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-71.
  • STS-71 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Baker; Budarin; Dunbar; Gibson; Harbaugh; Precourt; Solovyov. Backup Crew: Onufrienko; Usachyov. Payload: Atlantis F14 / Spacelab-Mir LM. Mass: 12,191 kg (26,876 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker; Budarin; Dunbar; Gibson; Harbaugh; Precourt; Solovyov; Onufrienko; Usachyov. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-71; Mir EO-19; Mir EO-18. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 9.81 days. Decay Date: 1995-07-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 23600 . COSPAR: 1995-030A. Apogee: 342 km (212 mi). Perigee: 342 km (212 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Mir Expedition EO-19. Transferred Budarin, Solovyov to Mir, returned Soyuz TM-21 crew to Earth. After undocking from Mir on July 4, Atlantis spent several days on orbit, carrying out medical research work with the Spacelab-Mir module in the cargo bay. Payloads: Shuttle/Mir Mission 1, Spacelab-Mir, IMAX camera, Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX).

1995 July 7 - .
Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use