[Karl Henize] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Karl G. Henize (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut

Born on October 17, 1926, in Cincinnati, Ohio. His brother, Mr. Wilson C. Henize, resides in Cincinnati.

Brown hair; brown eyes; height: 5 feet 7 inches; weight: 170 polmds.

Attended primary and secondary schools in Plainville and Mariemont, Ohio; received a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics in 1947, and a master of arts degree in astronomy in 1948, from the University of Virginia; and awarded a doctor of philosophy degree in astronomy by the University of Michigan in 1954.

Married to the former Caroline Weber of Bay City, Michigan.

Kurt Gordon, February 27, 1955; Marcia Lynn, October 3, 1956; Skye Karen, June 5, 1961; and Vance Karl, September 1, 1969.

His hobbies include home computers, stamp collecting, and astronomy; and he also enjoys racquetball, baseball, skin diving, and mountain climbing.

Member of the American Astronomical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the International Astronomical Union, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Presented the Robert Gordon Memorial Award for 1968; recipient of NASA Group Achievement Awards (1971, 1974, 1975, and 1978); and awarded the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1974).

Henize was an observer for the University of Michigan Observatory from 1948 to 1951, stationed at the Lamont-Hussey Observatory in Bloemfontein, Union of South Africa. While there, he conducted an objective-prism spectroscopic survey of the southern sky for stars and nebulae showing emission lines of hydrogen. In 1954, he became a Carnegie postdoctoral fellow at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California, and conducted spectroscopic and photometric studies of emission-line stars and nebulae. From 1956 to 1959, he served as a senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He was in charge of photographic satellite tracking stations for the satellite tracking program and responsible for the establishment and operation of a global network of 12 stations for photographic tracking of artificial Earth satellites.

Dr. Henize was appointed associate professor in Northwestern University's Department of Astronomy in 1959, and was awarded a professorship in 1964. In addition to teaching, he conducted research on planetary nebulae, peculiar emission-line stars, S-stars, and T-associations. During 1961 and 1962, he was a guest observer at Mt. Stromlo Observatory in Canberra, Australia, where he used instruments ranging from the Uppsala 20/26-inch Schmidt to the 74-inch parabolic reflector.

Henize also engaged in studies of ultraviolet optical systems and astronomical programs suited to the manned space flight program. He became principal investigator of experiment S-013, which obtained ultraviolet stellar spectra during the Gemini 10, 11, and 12 flights. He also became principal investigator of experiment S-019, in which a six-inch aperture objective-prism spectrograph was used on Skylab to obtain ultraviolet spectra of faint stars.

From 1974 to 1978, Dr. Henize chaired the NASA Facility Definition Team for STARLAB, a proposed one-meter UV telescope for Spacelab. From 1978 to 1980, he chaired the NASA Working Group for the Spacelab Wide-Angle Telescope. From 1979 to 1986, he was the chairman of the International Astronomical Union Working Group for Space Schmidt Surveys and continues to be one of the leaders in proposing the use of a one-meter all reflecting Schmidt telescope to carry out a deep full-sky survey in far-ultraviolet wavelengths.

He is the author and/or coauthor of more than 70 scientific publications dealing with astronomy research.

Dr. Henize was selected as a scientist-astronaut by NASA in August 1967. He has completed the initial academic training and the 53-week jet pilot training program at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. He was a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 15 mission and for the Skylab 2, 3, and 4 missions. He was mission specialist for the ASSESS-2 spacelab simulation mission in 1977. He has logged 2,300 hours flying time in jet aircraft.

Dr. Henize was a mission specialist 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), Col. Roy D. Bridges (pilot), fellow mission specialists, Drs. Anthony W. England 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 18 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 superfluid helium. Dr. Henize's responsibilities included testing and operating the IPS, operating the Remote Manipulator System (RMS), maintaining the Spacelab systems, and operating several of the experiments. After l26 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, Henize has logged 188 hours in space.

Dr. Henize resigned from the Astronaut Office in April 1986.

Dr. Henize is currently a Senior Scientist in the Space Physics Branch of the Johnson Space Center Space and Life Sciences Directorate. His main interest is the detection and study of space debris and the evaluation of its potential hazard to the Space Station.

He also continues to carry out astrophysical research on planetary nebulae and ultraviolet stellar spectra.


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