Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Ockels, Dr Wubbo Johannes (1946-) Dutch physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-A. First Dutch astronaut.

Grew up in Groningen, Netherlands. Educated Groningen.

ESA Official Biography

NAME: Prof. Dr. Wubbo Ockels

BIRTHPLACE: Born in Almelo, The Netherlands, on 28 March 1946 but he considers Groningen , The Netherlands , to be his hometown.

MARITAL STATUS: Married, two children

EDUCATION: In 1973 - completed studies in physics and mathematics at K.V.I. in Groningen (Cum Laude). In 1978 received doctorate in physics and mathematics from the University of Groningen

EXPERIENCE: From 1973-1978 - performed experiments concerning gamma-ray decay of nuclear systems dircetly after formation and developed electronical systems and computer software at K.V.I. / Groningen. In 1978 was selected by ESA as one of the Payload Specialists for Spacelab-1. From 1980 to 1983 underwent training as Backup for Spacelab-1 at Johnson Space Center, Houston and Basic Training on the ESA Spacelab Module. In November/December 1983 was a Ground-communicator for the Spacelab-1 mission. Flew in space in October/November 1985 as Payload Specialist on STS-61A / Spacelab D-1, performing over 70 different experiments from 5 science fields aboard the shuttle Challenger.

Professor Dr. Ockels was thereafter stationed at ESTEC (the technical center of ESA in Noordwijk, The Netherlands) to supprt ESA activities for future manned space flights. He was particularly involved in the Columbus programme, Europe's contribution to the International Space Station. Dr. Ockels was nominated by the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands, for a part-time professorship at the Faculty of Aerospace Technology in July 1992. Additionally, he maintained his qualification as an ESA Scientist Astronaut. He was also assigned as Senior Technical Assistant to the Department of Automation and Informatics.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the American Physical Society, Nederlandse Natuurkundige Vereniging,Mensa, Association for Space Explorers, Association of European Astronauts.

Birth Place: Almelo.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1946.03.28.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 7.03 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Flights
  • STS-61-A Crew: Bluford, Buchli, Dunbar, Furrer, Hartsfield, Messerschmid, Nagel, Ockels. Record crew size aboard a single spacecraft. First Dutch astronaut. Manned eight crew. Launched GLOMR; carried Spacelab D1. Six of the eight crew members were divided into a blue and red team working 12-hour shifts. Experienced O-ring erosion. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. 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...

Ockels Chronology

1985 October 30 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-29/61-A.
  • STS-61-A - . Call Sign: Challenger. Crew: Bluford; Buchli; Dunbar; Furrer; Hartsfield; Messerschmid; Nagel; Ockels. Payload: Challenger F09 / GLOMR 1. Mass: 14,451 kg (31,859 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Buchli; Dunbar; Furrer; Hartsfield; Messerschmid; Nagel; Ockels. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61-A. Spacecraft: Challenger. Duration: 7.03 days. Decay Date: 1985-11-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 16230 . COSPAR: 1985-104A. Apogee: 331 km (205 mi). Perigee: 319 km (198 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. Manned eight crew. Launched GLOMR; carried Spacelab D1. Payloads: Spacelab D-1 with habitable module and 76 experiments. Six of the eight crew members were divided into a blue and red team working 12-hour shifts for 24-hour-a-day operation. The remaining two crew members were 'switch hitters.'.

1985 November 6 - .
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