Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Pailes, William Arthur (1952-) American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut. Flew on STS-51-J.

Grew up in Kinnelon, New Jersey. Educated USAFA; Texas A&M. USAF officer.

Official NASA Biography

NAME: William A. Pailes (Major, USAF)
Payload Specialist

PERSONAL DATA: Born June 26, 1952, in Hackensack, New Jersey, but considers Kinnelon, New Jersey, to be his hometown. Married. He is a former deacon and treasurer of his church in El Segundo, California.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Kinnelon High School, Kinnelon, New Jersey, 1970. Received a bachelor of science degree in computer science, USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1974. Attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, from 1974-1975; trained as a HC-130 rescue pilot in the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service. In 1978, attended Squadron Officer School. Received a master of science degree in computer science, Texas A&M University, 1981.

EXPERIENCE: Dec 1975 to Jul 1980 McClellan Air Force Base, California, and Royal Air Force Base, Woodbridge, England. HC-130 pilot in Air Force Rescue.

Jan 1982 to Dec 1982 Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Manager, mini-computer operating systems software development.

Jan 1983 to Present USAF Manned Spaceflight Engineering Program, Los Angeles Air Force Station, California. Manned Spaceflight Engineer.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Pailes flew on STS-51J Atlantis (October 3-7, 1985) which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. STS-51J was the second Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission. It was also the maiden voyage of the Atlantis, the final Orbiter in the Shuttle fleet. At the conclusion of the mission, Pailes had traveled over 1.6 million miles in 98 Earth orbits and logged more than 97 hours in space.


Birth Place: Hackensack, New Jersey.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1952.06.26.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 4.07 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Flights
  • STS-51-J Crew: Bobko, Grabe, Hilmers, Pailes, Stewart. First flight of shuttle Atlantis. Military mission, manned five crew. Deployed USA-11, USA-12. More...

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

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

Pailes Chronology

1982 September 1 - .
  • DoD Astronaut Training Group 2 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armor; Booen; Holder; James; Jones, Charles; LaComb; Mantz; Odle; Pailes; Puz; Roberts; Sponable; Thompson, David; Yeakel. The group was selected to provide shuttle manned spaceflight engineers to operate military payloads.. Qualifications: USAF officers with bachelor's degree in science or engineering; four years experience in flying or space-related activities. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. 14 were selected from 63 candidates.

1985 October 3 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-28/51-J.
  • STS-51-J - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Bobko; Grabe; Hilmers; Pailes; Stewart. Payload: Atlantis F01 / DSCS-3 2 / DSCS-3 3 [IUS]. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bobko; Grabe; Hilmers; Pailes; Stewart. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-51-J. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 4.07 days. Decay Date: 1985-10-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 16115 . COSPAR: 1985-092A. Apogee: 486 km (301 mi). Perigee: 476 km (295 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 94.20 min. Manned five crew. Atlantis (first flight); deployed USA 11, USA 12. Reusable space transportation system.

    Orbits of Earth: 63. Landed at: Runway 23 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Touchdown miss distance: 754.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,455.00 m. Payloads: Classified DoD Mission - Record altitude (as of 5/93).

1985 October 7 - .
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