Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
Prior to the first flight of the Space Shuttle, he provided astronaut support in Orbiter engineering development and testing. He was a T-38 chase pilot for the second and third Shuttle flights and support crewman for the first operational Shuttle flight, STS-5. Covey also served as Mission Control spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for Shuttle missions STS-5, 6, 61-B, 61-C, and 51-L. During 1989, he was Chairman of NASA's Space Flight Safety Panel .
On his first mission, Covey was the pilot on the five man crew of STS 51-1, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 27, 1985. During this seven day mission, crewmembers deployed three communications satellites, the Navy SYNCOM IV-4, the Australian AUSSAT, and American Satellite Company's ASC-1. The crew also performed the successful on-orbit rendezvous and repair of the ailing 15,000 pound SYNCOM IV-3 satellite. This repair activity involved the first manual grapple and manual deployment of a satellite by a crew member. The Mission duration was 170 hours. Space Shuttle Discovery completed 112 orbits of the Earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 3,1985.
He then served as pilot on ST5-26, the first flight to be flown after the Challenger accident. The five man crew launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on September 29, 1988, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Mission duration was 97 hours, during which crewmembers successfully deployed the TDRS-C satellite and operated eleven secondary payloads which included two student experiments. Discovery completed 64 orbits of the earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 3, 1988.
More recently, Covey was the spacecraft commander on STS-38. The five man crew launched at night from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 15, 1990. During the five day mission crewmembers conducted Department of Defense operations. After 80 orbits of the earth, Covey piloted the Space Shuttle Atlantis to a landing on the runway at the Kennedy Space Center on November 20, 1990. This was the first Shuttle recovery in Florida since 1985.
With the completion of his third space flight, Colonel Covey has logged over 385 hours in space.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 1990