[Rusty Schweickart] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Russell L. "Rusty" Schweickart
NASA Astronaut

Born: Born October 25, 1935 in Neptune, New Jersey. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Schweickart, reside in spring Hill, Florida.

Graduated from Manasquan High School, New Jersey; received a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a master of science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT.

Married to the former Clare G. Whitfield of Atlanta, Georgia.

CHILDREN: Vicki, Randolph, Russell, Elin and Diana.

His hobbies are bicycling, backpacking, hunting and fishing.

Fellow of the America Astronautical Society; Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Exploreers Club, and Sigma Xi.

Awarded the NASA Distinguished Services Medal (1969), the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1973), the Federation Aeronuatique Internationale De La Vaux Medal (1970), and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Special Trustees Award (1969).

Schweickart was named Chairman of the California Energy Commission by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., on August 24, 1979. The Energy Commission consists of five commissioners and staff responsible for power plant siting, energy supply and demand forecasts, conservation, and development of alternative energy sources. Schweickart was appointed to the Commission in July 1979.

Prior to his present assignment, Schweickart served on Governor Brown's staff as Assistant to the Governor for Science and Technology. In that capacity, he fostered the use of new technologies by state agencies. He also served as liaison with California's important aerospace and electronics industry as well as federal research and development agencies. Schweickart was responsible for overseeing the state's emergency services and National Guard programs. Following the incident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, he headed a Task Force which made recommendations on emergency preparedness for nuclear plant accidents.

During his tenure at the Governor's Office, Schweickart was on leave from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He resigned from that Agency in July 1979 to accept his current appointment.

Schweickart came to NASA as one of the 14 astronauts named in October 1963. He served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 9, March 3-13, 1969, logging 241 hours in space. This was the third manned flight in the Apollo series, the second to be launched by a Saturn V and the first manned flight of the lunar module. With him on the flight into Earth orbit were James A. McDivitt, spacecraft commander, and David R. Scott, command module pilot. During a 46-minute EVA, Schweickart tested the portable life support backpack subsequently used on the lunar surface explorations.

Schweickart served as backup commander for the first Skylab mission which flew in the Spring of 1973. Following the loss of the thermal shield during the launch of the Skylab vehicle, he assumed responsibility for the development of hardware and procedures associated with erecting the emergency solar shade and deploying the jammed solar array wing.

After the Skylab program, Schweickart went to NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as Director of User Affairs in the Office of Applications. In this position he was responsible for transferring NASA technology to the outside world and working with technology users to bring an understanding of their needs into NASA's program. Schweickart also worked on policies for space shuttle payload operations.

Prior to joining NASA, Schweickart was a research scientist at the Experimental Astronomy Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his work there involved research upper atmospheric physics, star tracking and stabilization of stellar images. His thesis for a master's degree at MIT concerned stratospheric radiance.

Schweickart served as pilot in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard from 1956 to 1963.

He has logged 4,200 hours flight time, including 3,500 in jet aircraft.


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