Encyclopedia Astronautica
Nelson



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Nelson
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
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STS-26
STS-26 MS Nelson adjusts ADSF power cable on Discovery's middeck
Credit: NASA
Nelson, Dr George Driver 'Pinky' (1950-) American astronomer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-C, STS-61-C, STS-26.

Grew up in Willmar, Minnesota.. Educated Mudd; Washington. Total EVA Time: 0.41 days. Number of EVAs: 2.


Official NASA Biography

NAME: George D. (nickname Pinky) Nelson (Ph.D.)

NASA Astronaut

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born July 13, 1950, in Charles City, Iowa. Considers Willmar, Minnesota, to be his hometown. His father, Mr. George V. Nelson, lives in Clinton, Iowa.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Blond hair; blue eyes; height: 5 feet 9 inches; weight: 170 pounds.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Willmar Senior High School, Willmar, Minnesota, in 1968; received a bachelor of science degree in Physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1972 and a master of science and a doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Washington in 1974 and 1978, respectively.

MARITAL STATUS: His wife Susie is from Alhambra, California.

CHILDREN: Aimee Tess, April 25, 1972; Marti Ann, February 27, 1975.

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys playing golf, swimming, running, and music.

EXPERIENCE: Dr. Nelson performed astronomical research at the Sacramento Peak Solar Observatory, Sunspot, New Mexico; the Astronomical Institute at Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; and the University of Gottingen Observatory, Gottingen, West Germany, and at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics in Boulder, Colorado.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Dr. Nelson was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. He flew as a scientific equipment operator in the WB 57-F earth resources aircraft; served as the Astronaut Office representative in the Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (space suit) development effort. During STS-1 he was the photographer in the prime chase plane. He also served as support crewman and CAPCOM for the last two OFT flights, STS-3 and STS-4, and as head of the Astronaut Office Mission Development Group.

Dr. Nelson first flew on STS 41-C (April 6-13, 1984). During the seven day flight of Challenger the crew successfully deployed the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF); retrieved the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite, repaired it on-board the Orbiter, and replaced it in orbit. The mission also included flight testing of Manned Maneuvering Units (MMU's) in two extravehicular activities (EVA's); operation of the Cinema 360 and IMAX Camera Systems.

He then flew on STS 61-C, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on January 12, and made a night landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on January 18, 1986. During the six day flight of Columbia, the crew deployed the SATCOM KU satellite, and conducted experiments in astrophysics and materials processing.

Dr. Nelson then flew on STS-26, the first flight to be flown after the Challenger accident. The Orbiter Discovery was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on September 29, 1988. During the four day mission, the crew successfully deployed the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-C), and operated eleven mid-deck science experiments. With the completion of his third space flight he logged a total of 411 hours in space, including 10 hours of EVA flight time.

Currently Assistant Provost and Associate Professor of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

NOVEMBER, 1989

Birth Place: Charles City, Iowa.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1950.07.13.
Spaceflights: 3 .
Total time in space: 17.11 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • 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-C Crew: Crippen, Hart, Nelson, Scobee, van Hoften. Manned five crew. First repair on orbit of a satellite, Solar Maximum Mission, snared by astronaut using MMU. Deployed LDEF. Experienced erosion of the primary O-ring in the right-hand nozzle 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-26 Crew: Covey, Hauck, Hilmers, Lounge, Nelson. Manned five crew. First shuttle reflight after Challenger disaster. Deployed TDRS 3. More...

Associated Programs
  • 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.

Nelson 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 April 6 - . 13:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-13/41-C.
  • STS-41-C - . Call Sign: Challenger. Crew: Crippen; Hart; Nelson; Scobee; van Hoften. Payload: Challenger F05 / LDEF 1 / MMU 3. Mass: 17,357 kg (38,265 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Crippen; Hart; Nelson; Scobee; van Hoften. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-41-C. Spacecraft: Challenger. Duration: 6.99 days. Decay Date: 1984-04-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 14897 . COSPAR: 1984-034A. Apogee: 468 km (290 mi). Perigee: 222 km (137 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. Manned five crew. First repair on orbit of a satellite, Solar Maximum Mission, by James van Hoften and George Nelson. Deployed LDEF. Payloads:Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) repair, manned maneuvering unit (MMU) satellite support, deployment of Long-Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) in earth orbit free drift. LDEF contained 57 experiments and weighed about 10,000 kg. Cinema 360 and IMAX 70-mm cameras.

1984 April 8 - . 14:18 GMT - .
1984 April 11 - . 08:58 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-41-C-2 - . Crew: Nelson; van Hoften. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.30 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Nelson; van Hoften. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-41-C. Spacecraft: Challenger. Summary: Successfully captured and repaired Solar Max satellite..

1984 April 13 - .
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 September 29 - . 15:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-26R.
  • STS-26 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Covey; Hauck; Hilmers; Lounge; Nelson. Payload: Discovery F07 / PDP. Mass: 21,082 kg (46,477 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Covey; Hauck; Hilmers; Lounge; Nelson. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-26. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 4.04 days. Decay Date: 1988-10-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 19547 . COSPAR: 1988-091A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 301 km (187 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned five crew. First shuttle reflight after Challenger disaster. Deployed TDRS 3. Payloads: Deploy IUS (lnertial Upper Stage) with Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-C. 3M's Physical Vapor Transport Organics Solids 2 experiment (PVTOS), Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (ADSF), Infrared Communi-cations Flight Experiment (lRCFE), Protein Crystal Growth Il (PCG), Isoelectric Focusing (ISF)-2, Phase Partitioning Experiment (PPE), Aggrega-tion of Red Blood Cells (ARC)-2, Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE)-1, Earth Limb Radiance (ELRAD), Orbiter Experiments (OEX), Autonomous Supporting Instrumentation System (OASlS)-I, two Shuttle Student Involvement Project (SSIP) experiments.

1988 October 3 - .
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