Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Michel, Dr Frank Curtis 'Curt' (1934-) American scientist astronaut, 1965-1969.

Educated Caltech.

Official NASA Biography

NAME: F. Curtis Michel
NASA Astronaut (former)

PERSONAL DATA: Born June 5, 1934, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He is married and has a son and a daughter. His hobby is photography, and he enjoys tennis, handball, and baseball.

EDUCATION: Graduated from C. K. McClatchey High School, Sacramento, California; received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Physics in 1955 and a Doctorate in Physics in 1962, both from the California Institute of Technology.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the American Physical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Astronomical Society.

EXPERIENCE: Michel was a junior engineer with the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company's Guided Missile Division before joining the Air Force in 1955. As an AFROTC graduate, he received flight training at Marana Air Force Base, Arizona, and at Laredo and Perrin Air Force Bases in Texas. During his three years of military service, he flew F-86D Interceptors in the United States and in Europe.

Following his tour of active duty in the Air Force, he was a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology---doing experimental and theoretical work in nuclear physics. He came to Houston in July 1963 and became a member of the faculty at Rice University. His efforts there were directed to researching and teaching space sciences, such as the interaction of solar winds and the lunar atmosphere.

He has accumulated 1,000 hours flying time and 900 hours in jet aircraft.

Dr. Michel was selected as a scientist-astronaut by NASA in June 1965. He resigned in September 1969 to return to teaching and research, and was Department Chairman of the Space Physics and Astronomy Department at Rice University in Houston, Texas, from 1974 to 1979. He has been the Andrew Hays Buchanan Professor of Astrophysics since 1974. He was named a Guggenheim Fellow to the University of Paris, France, from 1979 to 1980, and has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt, Senior U.S. Scientist Award to study in Heidelberg, from 1982 to 1983.


Birth Place: LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1934.06.05.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...
  • NASA Group 4 - 1965 Requirement: scientist-astronauts for Apollo lunar landing and Apollo applications earth-orbit space station missions. Nickname: The Scientists. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

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

Michel Chronology

1965 June 28 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 4 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Garriott; Gibson, Edward; Graveline; Kerwin; Michel; Schmitt. The group was selected to provide scientist-astronauts for Apollo lunar landing and earth-orbit space station missions.. Qualifications: Doctorate in natural sciences, medicine, or engineering. Under 35 years old, under 183 cm height, excellent health. US citizen.. 1,351 applicants. The National Academy of Science was responsible for the final selection. NASA planned to select up to twenty, but the quality of the applicants was considered so poor that only six were named. Of those, four would fly in space. Geologist Schmitt would walk on the moon on the last Apollo mission, and only after pressure from the scientific community. The other three would fly on Skylab. Only Garriot would fly twice, supplementing his 59 days on Skylab with a ten-day shuttle mission.

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