National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
NAME: Paul J. Weitz (pronounced WHITES) (Mr.)
- NASA Astronaut
- Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on July 25, 1932. His
mother, Mrs. Violet Futrell, now resides in Norfolk, Virginia.
- Silver hair; blue eyes; 5 feet 10 inches; 180 pounds.
- Graduated from Harborcreek High School in Harborcreek,
Pennsylvania; received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering
from Pennsylvania State University in 1954 and a master's degree in
aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey,
California, in 1964.
- Married to the former Suzanne M. Berry of Harborcreek,
- Matthew J., September 23, 1958; Cynthia A., September 25, 1961.
- Hunting and fishing are among his hobbies.
- Fellow, American Astronautical Association.
- Awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy
Distinguished Service Medal, Astronaut Wings, Air Medal (5 awards), and
Commendation Medal (for combat flights in Vietnam); the Los Angeles Chamber of
Commerce Kitty Hawk Award (1973), the Robert J. Collier Trophy for 1973 (1974),
the Pennsylvania State University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni
Award, named a Pennsylvania State University Alumni Fellow (1974), the AIAA
Haley Astronautics Award for 1974, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale's
V. M. Komarov Diploma for 1973 (1974), the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial
Trophy for 1975, the 1974 Harmon International Aviation Trophy for Astronaut
(1975), NASA Space Flight Medal (1983), the 1984 Harmon International Award
- Weitz received his commission as an Ensign through the NROTC
program at Pennsylvania State University. He served for one year at sea aboard
a destroyer before going to flight training and was awarded his wings in
September 1956. He served in various naval squadrons until he was selected as
an astronaut in 1966. He has logged more than 7,700 hours flying time -- 6,400
hours in jet aircraft.
- Mr. Weitz is one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in
April 1966. He served as pilot on Skylab 2 (SL-2), which launched on May 25
and ended on June 22, 1973. SL-2 was the first manned Skylab mission, and
activated a 28-day flight. In logging 672 hours and 49 minutes aboard the
orbital workshop, the crew established what was then a new world record for a
single mission. Mr. Weitz also logged 2 hours and 11 minutes in extravehicular
Mr. Weitz was spacecraft commander of STS-6, which launched from Kennedy Space
Center, Florida, on April 4, 1983. This was the maiden voyage of the Orbiter
Challenger. During the mission, the crew conducted numerous experiments in
materials processing; recorded lightning activities; deployed IUS/TDRS-A; and
conducted spectacular extravehicular activity while testing a variety of
support systems and equipment in preparation for future space walks, and also
carried three "Getaway Specials". Mission duration was 120 hours before
landing Challenger on a concrete runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California,
on April 9, 1983. With the completion of this flight Paul Weitz logged a total
of 793 hours in space.
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Mr. Weitz currently serves as the Deputy Director of the
Johnson Space Center.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY LAST UPDATE FEBRUARY 1992
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