Share

Astronaut Paul Weitz Dies At 85; Veteran Of Skylab And Shuttle Missions

American wanderer Paul J. Weitz, right, with Joseph P. Kerwin, left and Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr., center. The organisation of a initial manned Skylab goal is shown in May 1973.

AP


hide caption

toggle caption

AP

American wanderer Paul J. Weitz, right, with Joseph P. Kerwin, left and Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr., center. The organisation of a initial manned Skylab goal is shown in May 1973.

AP

Former NASA wanderer Paul Weitz, who spent scarcely a month in circuit on a initial manned Skylab goal in 1973 and flew a decade after as goal commander on a lass excursion of a Space Shuttle Challenger, has died during 85.

“We’re saddened by a detriment of late wanderer Paul Weitz,” NASA pronounced on Tuesday.

Weitz died in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Monday; he had been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of blood cancer.

Weitz was innate in Erie, Pa., and graduated from Penn State. He assimilated a Navy and became an flier and exam pilot, eventually rising to a arrange of captain. He was selected in NASA’s fifth turn of wanderer preference in 1966, as a group was ramping adult for a Apollo moon program.

On his initial space flight, he served as commander on Skylab-2 (SL-2), along with Apollo 12 maestro Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr., and Joseph Kerwin, also a rookie on SL-2. The goal to correct Skylab, that had suffered poignant repairs during a space station’s launch, is still deliberate one of a many formidable and dangerous in a annals of spaceflight.

The 3 astronauts had to control mixed space walks to correct a shop-worn craft, deploying a hulk contemplative parasol to act as a sunshade in place of a shop-worn thermal shield.

“Weitz conducted a ‘stand-up EVA’ — his conduct and physique extending out a Apollo authority module’s induce while Kerwin hold him by a ankles from inside — in an try to giveaway [a] stranded [solar] array,’ according to CollectSpace.com.

Weitz logged dual hours and 11 mins in space walks and a organisation of a goal determined a new universe record for time in space – 672 hours, 49 minutes.

“We had to get a temperatures underneath control if we were going to deliver Skylab during all,” he told NASA in an verbal story available in 2000.

Years later, Weitz returned to space when he ordered a vicious initial goal of Challenger, NASA’s second flight-worthy Space Shuttle orbiter, lifting off on Apr 4, 1983. The successful moody lasted 5 days.

“Before it became hackneyed to come out of retirement, Paul was a pioneer,” pronounced Curtis Brown, authority of a Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. “He valid 51 was only a number.”

In a final section of his NASA career, Weitz served as emissary executive of a Johnson Space Center, timid from a group in 1994.