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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
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Biographical Data

NAME: Astronaut Bio: Roy D. Bridges, Jr. (Colonel, USAF)
NASA Astronaut

Born Born July 19, 1943, in Atlanta, Georgia, but considers Gainesville, Georgia, to be his hometown. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roy D. Bridges, Sr., reside in Gainesville.

Red hair; hazel eyes; height: 5 feet 8 inches; weight: 145 pounds.

Graduated from Gainesville High School, Gainesville, Georgia, in 1961; received a bachelor of science degree in engineering science from the United States Air Force Academy in 1965, and a master of science degree in astronautics from Purdue University in 1966.

Married to the former Benita Louise Allbaugh of Tucson, Arizona. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Allbaugh, reside in Tucson.

Tanya M., March 12, 1970; and Brian N., May 23, 1974.

He enjoys jogging, camping, backpacking, and flying.

Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and life member of the Air Force Academy Association of Graduates.

3 Air Force Distinguished Flying Crosses, 15 Air Medals, an Air Force Commendation Medal, an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, an Air Force Systems Command Certificate of Merit (for selection as the AFSC nominee for the Jabara Award for Airmanship in 1974), Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Academy, Distinguished Graduate of USAF Pilot Training, Top Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, and a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Command and Staff College. Recipient of NASA Certificate of Commendation.

After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1965, Bridges attended Purdue University in residence to complete the requirements for his master of science degree. He then entered and completed pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. He was assigned to the 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Clovis AFB, NM, in 1967, as an F-100 pilot. During 1968, he flew 226 combat missions in the F-100 while a member of the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron and Commando Sabre Operation at Phu Cat Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam. In 1969, Bridges returned to the United States as a pilot instructor assigned to the 3575th Pilot Training Squadron at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, and in 1970, attended the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. He remained at Edwards following graduation in 1971, for an assignment as test pilot with the Air Force Flight Test Center. He was involved in a number of aircraft test projects, including the A-X flyoff and subsequent test and evaluation of the A-10.

In 1975, he entered the Air Command and Staff College and subsequently went to work for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development at Headquarters USAF in Washington, D.C. While at the Pentagon, he participated in development and acquisition programs for F-15 and A-10 aircraft and served as a special assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development. He was assigned to Detachment 3 of the Air Force Flight Test Center as a special projects officer when informed of his selection by NASA.

He has logged more than 3,800 hours flying time in the following aircraft: T-2, T-28, T-33, T-37, T-38, T-41, A-37, A-7, A-9, A-10, B-26, B-52, B-57, F-100, F-104, NF-104, F-106, F-4, KC-135, and G-2 (Shuttle Training Aircraft).

Bridges was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in May 1980, and completed a 1-year training and evaluation period, in August 1981. He was backup entry spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for STS-4 and the primary entry CAPCOM for STS-5 and STS-6. In addition, he was primary ascent CAPCOM for STS-7.

Bridges was the pilot on the Spacelab-2 mission (STS 51-F) which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on July 29, 1985. He was accompanied by Col. Charles G. Fullerton (spacecraft commander), three mission specialists, Drs. Anthony W. England, Karl G. Henize, and F. Story Musgrave, as well as two payload specialists, Dr's. Loren Acton and John-David Bartoe. This mission was the first pallet-only Spacelab mission and the first mission to operate the Spacelab Instrument Pointing System (IPS). It carried 13 major experiments of which 7 were in the field of astronomy and solar physics, 3 were for studies of the Earth's ionosphere, 2 were life science experiments, and 1 studied the properties of superfluid helium. After 126 orbits of the Earth, STS 51-F Challenger landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on August 6, 1985. With the completion of this flight Bridges has logged 188 hours in space.

Colonel Bridges has been assigned as the pilot on STS 61-F scheduled for launch on May 15, 1986. This mission will deploy the Ulysses spacecraft with a high energy Centaur upper stage. This will be the first flight of the NASA-provided Centaur which will boost the Ulysses into a heliocentric orbit timed to swing-by the planet Jupiter in July 1987. The gravitational field of Jupiter will be used to deflect Ulysses into an out-of- ecliptic trajectory which will result in passage over the polar regions of the Sun in 1989-1991. The primary mission of the European Space Agency-provided Ulysses will be an investigation of the properties of the Sun, the solar wind, and the heliosphere as a function of latitude. This will be the first data obtained from the solar polar regions.

Currently Commander of the Eastern Space and Missile Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.


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