Status: Inactive; Active 1979-1985. Born: 1948-06-20. Spaceflights: 1 . Total time in space: 3.06 days. Birth Place: Rock Island, Illinois.
EDUCATION: Payton earned an undergraduate degree in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Academy and a Masters degree in astronautical/aeronautical engineering from Purdue University.
EXPERIENCE: Payton served over 23 years in the Air Force. During his Air Force career, Colonel Payton served in a variety of operational and managerial positions. These included pilot, instructor pilot, launch controller, spacecraft design manager, and technology developer. In 1985, he flew aboard Discovery as a payload specialist on the first military mission of the Space Shuttle program. Immediately prior to joining NASA, he was the Deputy for Technology in the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization responsible for the development and flight demonstration of advanced technologies such as DC-X, Clementine, and multiple lightweight interceptors.
Payton joined NASA in the spring of 1985 and managed the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program containing the DC-XA, X-33, X-34, and future space transportation technologies. Payton was named Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology (Space Transportation Technology) at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, in October 1996.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Gary E. Payton (Major, USAF)
PERSONAL DATA: Born June 20, 1948, in Rock Island, Illinois. Married. One child.
EDUCATION: Graduated from high school in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1966; attended Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois; and after one year entered the USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Received a bachelor of science degree in astronautical engineering, USAF Academy, 1971; and a master of science degree in astronautical and aeronautical engineering, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, 1972. Graduated from pilot training at Craig Air Force Base, Alabama, in 1973, and became an instructor pilot there.
EXPERIENCE: 1976 to May 1980, Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida. Spacecraft test controller.
May 1980 to present, Los Angeles AFS, California. Selected for the USAF Manned Space Flight Engineer Program in February 1980.
He has accumulated 1,080 hours in T-37, T-38 and T-39 aircraft.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Payton flew on STS-51C Discovery (January 24-27, 1985) which launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-51C was the first dedicated Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission. At the conclusion of the mission, Payton had traveled over 1.2 million miles in 48 Earth orbits, and logged more than 73 hours in space.
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The group was selected to provide shuttle manned spaceflight engineers to operate military payloads.. Qualifications: USAF, Navy, or Army 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.. 13 were selected from 222 candidates. The existence of the group was secret until 1985.
Manned five crew. Deployed USA 8 (Aquacade ELINT spacecraft). Orbits of Earth: 48. Landed at: Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing Speed: 342 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 839.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,240.00 m. Payloads: Department of Defence classified payloads.