Astronaut of the Month - Story Musgrave
Story Musgrave was born in Massachusetts on August 19, 1935. Leaving school after a bad car accident, he joined the Marines in 1953, where he obtained his GED. He served aboard the USS Wasp in the Pacific.
After his discharge, Musgrave began to collect his degrees. First, a BS in Mathematics and Statistics in 1958, followed up by a MBA in 1959, and a BA in Chemistry in 1960. He received his MD in 1964. Ultimately, he would earn seven degrees - the highest number of any astronaut so far.
In August of 1967, Musgrave was chosen as one of eleven new astronaut-scientists by NASA. Nicknamed XS-11 (or Excess 11) because they were not expected to actually be in line to go to space as funding for the Apollo program ended, Musgrave and eight of his fellows continued with NASA nonetheless.
Musgrave would train as a backup science pilot for a Skylab mission, but for the majority of his next 15 years with NASA, he worked on the ground in aerospace medicine and development of equipment and practices for new missions. He would be involved with all of the EVA (extra-vehicular activity) equipment for the shuttle program, including suits, life support systems, and other machinery.
His first spaceflight was on April 4, 1983 aboard the Challenger. During this mission, he helped test all the EVA procedures and equipment he’d helped develop. In his 30 year career as an astronaut, Musgrave would fly six missions, including at least one on each of the Shuttles. (The only person to have done so.)
His most well-known mission was STS-61 aboard the Endeavor. Almost 11 days long and one of the most complex Shuttle missions, their goal was to repair and upgrade the Hubble Telescope. Musgrave’s team performed 3 of the 5 needed spacewalks. Ultimately, the mission was a success, and we are still gaining insights and beauty from the images and information gathered by Hubble.
After a 30 year career, Musgrave retired from NASA in 1997.