Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
He has been a Marine Corps officer since 1959 and received his wings in 1960 after completing training at the U.S. Naval Air Training Command. He was then assigned to VMA224, 2nd Marine Air Wing, as an attack pilot and later served with VMA-224, 1st Marine Air Wing, at Iwakuni, Japan.
He has logged 6,400 hours of flight time, including 4,500 hours in jet aircraft and 240 hours in helicopters.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Colonel Lousma is one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 9, 10, and 13 missions.
Lousma was pilot for Skylab 3 (SL-3), July 28 to September 25, 1973. With him on this 59-1/2-day flight were Alan L. Bean (spacecraft commander) and Owen K. Garriott (science-pilot). SL-3 accomplished 150% of mission goals while completing 858 revolutions of the earth and traveling some 24,400,000 miles in earth orbit. The crew installed six replacement rate gyros used for attitude control of the spacecraft and a twin-pole sunshade used for thermal control, and they repaired nine major experiment or operational equipment items. They devoted 305 hours to extensive solar observations from above the earth's atmosphere, which included viewing two major solar flares and numerous smaller flares and coronal transients. Also acquired and returned to earth were 16,000 photographs and 18 miles of magnetic tape documenting earth resources observations. The crew completed 333 medical experiment performances and obtained valuable data on the effects of extended weightlessness on man. Skylab 3 ended with a Pacific splashdown and recovery by the USS NEW ORLEANS.
Lousma served as backup docking module pilot of the United States flight crew for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission which was completed successfully in July 1975.
On his second mission, Lousma was commander of the third orbital test flight of the space shuttle Columbia (STS-3), launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 22, 1982, into a 150-mile circular orbit above the earth. His pilot for this eight-day mission was C. Gordon Fullerton. Major flight test objectives included exposing the Columbia to extremes in thermal stress and the first use of the 50-foot remote manipulator system (RMS) to grapple and maneuver a payload in space. The crew also operated several scientific experiments in the orbiter's cabin and on the OSS-l pallet in the payload bay. The Columbia responded favorably to the thermal tests and was found to be better than expected as a scientific platform. The crew accomplished almost 100% of the objectives assigned to STS-3, and after a one-day delay due to bad weather, landed on the lakebed at White Sands, New Mexico, on March 30, 1982, having traveled 3.4 million miles during 129.9 orbits of the earth.
Lousma has logged 1,619 hours 13 minutes and 53 seconds in his two space flights. He also spent 11 hours and 2 minutes in two separate spacewalks outside the Skylab space station on his first flight.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY FEBRUARY 1983