Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
From June 1962 to November 1964, he was assigned to Fleet Squadron VA-72 -- completing 2-1/2 years of duty as an attack pilot aboard the aircraft carrier USS INDEPENDENCE. He later attended the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and upon graduation, remained there as an instructor until his selection in October 1966, to the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program. Crippen was among the second group of aerospace research pilots to be assigned to the MOL Program.
He has logged more than 6,500 hours flying time, which includes more than 5,500 hours in jet aircraft.
Crippen was spacecraft commander of STS-7, the second flight for the Orbiter Challenger, June 18-24 1983. This was the first mission with a 5-person crew which included Rick Hauck (pilot), and three mission specialists, John Fabian, Sally Ride, and Norman Thagard. During the mission, the crew deployed satellites for Canada (ANIK C-2) and Indonesia (PALAPA B-1); operated the Canadian- built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to perform the first deployment and retrieval exercise with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01); conducted the first formation flying of the Orbiter with a free-flying satellite (SPAS-01); carried and operated the first U.S./German cooperative materials science payload (OSTA-2); and operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) and the Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiments, in addition to activating seven Getwaway Specials. Mission duration was 147 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California,
On his third flight Crippen was spacecraft commander of STS 41-C, April 6-13 1984. His crew included Dick Scobee (pilot), and three mission specialists, Terry Hart, Pinky Nelson, and Ox van Hoften. During this 7-day mission the crew successfully deployed the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF); retrieved the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite, repaired it onboard the orbiting Challenger, and replaced it in orbit using the robot arm called the Remote Manipulator System (RMS); flight tested the Manned Maneuvering Units (MMU's) in two extravehicular activities (EVA's); as well as operating the Cinema 360 and IMAX Camera Systems, and a Bee Hive Honeycomb Structures student experiment. Mission duration was 168-hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
As spacecraft commander of STS 41-G, October 5-13 1984, Crippen's crew, the largest to fly to date, included Jon McBride (pilot), three mission specialists, Kathy Sullivan, Sally Ride, and David Leestma, as well as two payload specialists, Marc Garneau and Paul Scully-Power. 8-day mission deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted scientific observations of the Earth with the OSTA-3 pallet and Large Format Camera, as well as demonstrating potential satellite refueling with an EVA and associated hydrazine transfer. Mission duration was 197 hours and concluded with a landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.