STARGAZERS
THE ASTRONOMER ASTRONAUTS

The early space explorers were chosen from the elite jet-pilot communities and for many years the scientist trained astronauts were in a minority and well down the selection list for choosing space flight crews.  As spaceflight became more regular, especially with the advent of the space shuttle, scientific and engineering skills were as useful as piloting experience.  One of these new skills thought to be useful in space exploration was in astronomy and over the years, several professionally trained astronomers were selected for spaceflight training.  It turned out that even if you had a specific skill, it did no mean you flew on an appropriate mission.  For example, a doctor may not have been chosen to fly a medical mission or an astronomer may not have accompanied and astronomy focused payload.  This presentation reviews the troubled and, at times frustrating story of how professional astronomers were chosen for spaceflight training and the varied missions they achieved over the years.
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