[Gordon Fullerton] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Charles G. Fullerton (Colonel, USAF) NASA Astronaut
NASA Astronaut

Born: Born October 11, 1936, in Rochester, New York. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Fullerton, are residents of Salem, Oregon.

Married to the former Marie J. Buettner of Delphos, Ohio.

Molly Marie, June 26, 1973; Andrew Alexander, October 24, 1975.

His hobbies include woodworking, photography, tennis and racquetball.

Associate Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP); member, Tau Beta Pi; honorary member, National WW II Glider Pilots Association; fellow, American Astronautical Society.

Presented the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal; the JSC Group Achievement Award (1971,1974,1977); the Soaring Society of America's Certificate of Achievement Award (1978); the JSC Special Achievement Award (1978, 1982); NASA's Exceptional Service Medal (1978); NASA's Distinguished Service Medal (1982); the General Thomas D. White Space Trophy (1978); the SETP's Iven C. Kincheloe Award (1978); the Air Force Association's David C. Schilling Award (1978); the American Astronautical Society's Flight Achievement Award (1978, 1982); the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Haley Space Flight Award for 1980. Inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame (1982); and the NASA Space Flight Medal (1983, 1985).

Blond hair; blue eyes; height: 6 feet; weight: 165 pounds.

Graduated from U.S. Grant High School in Portland, Oregon; received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in Mechnical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1957 and 1958, respectively.

Fullerton entered on active duty with the Air Force in July 1958, after having worked as a mechanical design engineer for the Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City, California.

He received primary and basic flight training at Bainbridge Air Base, Georgia, and Webb Air Force Base, Texas. In September 1959, he went to Perrin Air Force Base, Texas, for F-86 fighter interceptor training and was then assigned to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, for B-47 combat training from May to December 1960. Following completion of this training, he served as a B-47 jet bomber pilot with Strategic Air Command's 303d Bomb Wing at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

After graduation in May 1965 from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, he reported to the Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was a test pilot for the bomber operations division at Wright-Patterson when notified of his selection to the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program as a flight crew member.

With over 10,900 hours flying time, he has flown 84 different types of aircraft, including the following: T-33, T-34, T-37, T-38, T-39, F-86, F-101, F-104, F-1O6, B-47, KC-135, and Boeing 747.

Fullerton became a NASA astronaut in September 1969. He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 14 and 17 missions.

Fullerton was a member of one of the two two-man crews who piloted Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Test (ALT) flights during the period June through October 1977. This series of critical Orbiter flight tests initially involved Boeing 747/0rbiter captive-active flights, followed by air-launched unpowered glide, approach, and landing tests (free flights). There were three captive mated tests with the Orbiter Enterprise carried atop the Boeing 747 carrier aircraft, allowing in-flight test and checkout of flight controls and Orbiter subsystems, and five free flights which permitted extensive evaluations of the Orbiter's subsonic flying qualities and performance characteristics during separation, up and away flight, flare, landing, and rollout, which provided valuable real-time data duplicating the last few minutes of an operational Shuttle mission.

Fullerton was pilot for STS-3, the third orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, March 22, 1982. The spacecraft commander for this eight-day mission was Jack R. Lousma. Major test objectives included exposing the Columbia to extremes in thermal stress and the first loaded tests in space of the 50-foot Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to grapple and maneuver a payload in orbit. The crew also operated several scientific experiments in the Orbiter's cabin and on the OSS-l pallet located in the payload bay. All on-orbit operations confirmed that Shuttle vehicles will make excellent scientific platforms in the future. The crew accomplished almost 100% of assigned STS-3 objectives before landing at Northrup Strip in White Sands, New Mexico, on March 30, 1982. They traveled 3.4 million miles during 129.9 orbits of the earth. Fullerton logged 192 hours, 4 minutes, and 49 seconds in space during STS-3.

On his next mission, Fullerton was the commander of the Spacelab-2 mission (STS 51-F), which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on July 29, 1985. He was accompanied by Col. Roy D. Bridges (pilot), three mission specialists, Drs. Anthony W. England, Karl G. Henize, and F. Story Musgrave, as well as two payload specialists, Drs 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 seven were in the field of astronomy and solar physics, three were for studies of the Earth's ionosphere, two were life science experiments, and one studied the properties of super fluid helium. After 126 orbits of the earth, STS 5l-F Challenger landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on August 6, 1985. With the completion of this flight, he has logged an additional 188 hours in space.

Colonel Fullerton is presently assigned technical duties within the Astronaut Office while awaiting another flight assignment.


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