Encyclopedia Astronautica
Covey



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Covey
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Covey, Richard Oswalt 'Dick' (1946-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-51-I, STS-26, STS-38, STS-61. Grew up in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, son of an Air Force officer. Flew 339 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia


Official NASA Biography

NAME: Richard O. Covey (Colonel, USAF)

NASA Astronaut

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born August 1, 1946, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but considers Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to be his hometown. His parents, Lt. Col. and Mrs. Charles D. Covey, USAF, are deceased.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown hair; gray eyes; 5 feet 11-1/2 inches; 155 pounds.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Choctawhatchee High School, Shalimar, Florida, in 1964; received a bachelor of science degree in engineering sciences with a major in astronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy in 1968, and a master of science degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University in 1969.

MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Kathleen Allbaugh of Emmettsburg, Iowa. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene B. Allbaugh, are residents of San Jose, California.

CHILDREN: Sarah Suzanne, February 5, 1974; Amy Kathleen, May 18, 1976.

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: He enjoys golf, water sports, photography, skiing, and volleyball.

ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the Air Force Association, the Order of Daedalians, the USAF Academy Association of Graduates, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and the Association of Space Explorers.

SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Department of Defense Superior Service Medal, 5 Air Force Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 3 NASA Space Flight Medals, the Johnson Space Center Certificate of Commendation, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Haley Space Flight Award for 1988, and the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award for 1988. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, received the Liethen-Tittle Award as the Outstanding Graduate of USAF Test Pilot School Class 74B, and is a Distinguished Astronaut Engineering Alumnus of Purdue University.

EXPERIENCE: Between 1970 and 1974, Covey was an operational fighter pilot, flying the F-100, A37, and A-7D. He flew 339 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia. At Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, between 1975 and 1978, he was an F-4 and A-7D weapons systems test pilot and joint test force director for electronic warfare testing of the F-15 Eagle. He has flown over 5,000 hours in more than 30 different types of aircraft.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978, Covey became an astronaut in August 1979. He has flown three space flights -- STS 51-I in 1985, STS-26 IN 1988, and STS-38 in 1990.

Prior to the first flight of the Space Shuttle, he provided astronaut support in Orbiter engineering development and testing. He was a T-38 chase pilot for the second and third Shuttle flights and support crewman for the first operational Shuttle flight, STS-5. Covey also served as Mission Control spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for Shuttle missions STS-5, 6, 61-B, 61-C, and 51-L. During 1989, he was Chairman of NASA's Space Flight Safety Panel.

On his first mission, Covey was the pilot of STS-51I, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 27, 1985. During this seven day mission, crew members deployed three communications satellites, the Navy SYNCOM IV-4, the Australian AUSSAT, and American Satellite Company's ASC-1. The crew also performed the successful on-orbit rendezvous and repair of the ailing 15,000-pound SYNCOM IV-3 satellite. This repair activity involved the first manual grapple and manual deployment of a satellite by a crew member. Mission duration was 170 hours. Space Shuttle Discovery completed 112 orbits of the Earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 3, 1985.

He then served as pilot on STS-26, the first flight to be flown after the Challenger accident. The five man crew launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on September 29, 1988 aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Mission duration was 97 hours during which crew members successfully deployed the TDRS-C satellite and operated eleven secondary payloads, which included two student experiments. Discovery completed 64 orbits of the earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 3, 1988.

More recently, Covey was the spacecraft commander on STS-38. The five man crew launched at night from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 15, 1990. During the five day mission crew members conducted Department of Defense operations. After 80 orbits of the earth, Covey piloted the Space Shuttle Atlantis to a landing on the runway at the Kennedy Space Center on November 20, 1990. This was the first Shuttle recovery in Florida since 1985. With the completion of his third space flight, he has logged over 385 hours in space.

While awaiting assignment to a subsequent space flight, Colonel has served in a variety of management positions within the Astronaut Office and Flight Crew Operations Directorate. He is currently the Acting Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations and shares management responsibility for the Astronaut Office, Aircraft Operations Division, and supporting offices.

FEBRUARY 1992

Birth Place: Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1946.08.01.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 26.88 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...
  • NASA Group 8 - 1978 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. Nickname: TFNG - Thirty-Five New Guys, also an obscene military phrase. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-51-I Crew: Covey, Engle, Fisher William, Lounge, van Hoften. First retrieval, repair, and relaunch of a satellite in orbit (Leasat 3). Manned five crew. Launched Aussat 1, ASC 1, Leasat 4. Suffered primary O-ring erosion in two locations on the left-hand SRM nozzle joint. More...
  • STS-26 Crew: Covey, Hauck, Hilmers, Lounge, Nelson. Manned five crew. First shuttle reflight after Challenger disaster. Deployed TDRS 3. More...
  • STS-38 Crew: Covey, Culbertson, Gemar, Meade, Springer. Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Launch delayed from July 1990 for series of technical problems. First post-Challenger landing at KSC after mission extended one day due to unacceptable crosswinds at original planned landing site, Edwards. More...
  • STS-61 Crew: Akers, Bowersox, Covey, Hoffman, Musgrave, Nicollier, Thornton. Manned seven crew. Hubble repair mission. Conducted the most EVAs on a Space Shuttle Flight to that date. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

Bibliography
  • NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Covey Chronology


1978 January 16 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 8 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Brandenstein; Buchli; Coats; Covey; Creighton; Fabian; Fisher; Gardner; Gibson; Gregory; Griggs; Hart; Hauck; Hawley; Hoffman; Lucid; McBride; McNair; Mullane; Nagel; Nelson; Onizuka; Resnik; Ride; Scobee; Seddon; Shaw; Shriver; Stewart; Sullivan. The group was selected to provide pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. Qualifications: Pilots: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. Advanced degree desirable. At least 1,000 flight-hours of pilot-in-command time. Flight test experience desirable. Excellent health. Vision minimum 20/50 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 vision; maximum sitting blood pressure 140/90. Height between 163 and 193 cm.

    Mission Specialists: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics and minimum three years of related experience or an advanced degree. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. 8,079 applicants, of which half met the basic qualifications. 208 invited for physical tests and interviews. Of the 35 selected, six were women, three were male African-Americans, and one was a male Asian-American.


1985 August 27 - . 10:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-27/51-I.
  • STS-51-I - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Covey; Engle; Fisher, William; Lounge; van Hoften. Payload: Discovery F06 / Syncom-4 4 [Orbus-7S] / Aussat A1. Mass: 19,952 kg (43,986 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Covey; Engle; Fisher, William; Lounge; van Hoften. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-51-I. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 7.10 days. Decay Date: 1985-09-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 15992 . COSPAR: 1985-076A. Apogee: 364 km (226 mi). Perigee: 351 km (218 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 91.70 min. Manned five crew. Launched Aussat 1, ASC 1, Leasat 4; repaired Leasat 3. Payloads: Deploy ASC (American Satellite Company)-1 with Payload Assist Modue (PAM)-D. Deploy AUSSAT (Australian communications satellite)-1 with PAM-D. Deploy Syncom IV-4 communications satellite with its unique stage. Retrieve Leasat-3 communications satellite, repair and deploy by extravehicular activity (EVA) astronauts. Physical Vapor Transport Organic Solids (PVTOS) experiment.

1985 September 3 - .
1988 September 29 - . 15:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-26R.
  • STS-26 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Covey; Hauck; Hilmers; Lounge; Nelson. Payload: Discovery F07 / PDP. Mass: 21,082 kg (46,477 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Covey; Hauck; Hilmers; Lounge; Nelson. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-26. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 4.04 days. Decay Date: 1988-10-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 19547 . COSPAR: 1988-091A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 301 km (187 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned five crew. First shuttle reflight after Challenger disaster. Deployed TDRS 3. Payloads: Deploy IUS (lnertial Upper Stage) with Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-C. 3M's Physical Vapor Transport Organics Solids 2 experiment (PVTOS), Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (ADSF), Infrared Communi-cations Flight Experiment (lRCFE), Protein Crystal Growth Il (PCG), Isoelectric Focusing (ISF)-2, Phase Partitioning Experiment (PPE), Aggrega-tion of Red Blood Cells (ARC)-2, Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE)-1, Earth Limb Radiance (ELRAD), Orbiter Experiments (OEX), Autonomous Supporting Instrumentation System (OASlS)-I, two Shuttle Student Involvement Project (SSIP) experiments.

1988 October 3 - .
1990 November 15 - . 23:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-38.
  • STS-38 - . Call Sign: Atlantis. Crew: Covey; Culbertson; Gemar; Meade; Springer. Payload: Atlantis F07 / DoD. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Covey; Culbertson; Gemar; Meade; Springer. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-38. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Duration: 4.91 days. Decay Date: 1990-11-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 20935 . COSPAR: 1990-097A. Apogee: 226 km (140 mi). Perigee: 78 km (48 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 87.50 min. Summary: Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Orbits of Earth: 79. Payloads: DoD Mission..

1990 November 20 - .
1993 December 2 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-61.
  • STS-61 - . Call Sign: Endeavour. Crew: Akers; Bowersox; Covey; Hoffman; Musgrave; Nicollier; Thornton. Payload: Endeavour F05 / FSS. Mass: 8,011 kg (17,661 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Akers; Bowersox; Covey; Hoffman; Musgrave; Nicollier; Thornton. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-61. Spacecraft: Endeavour. Duration: 10.83 days. Decay Date: 1993-12-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 22917 . COSPAR: 1993-075A. Apogee: 576 km (357 mi). Perigee: 291 km (180 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 93.30 min. Manned seven crew. Hubble repair mission. Conducted the most EVAs (5) on a Space Shuttle Flight to that date. Payloads: Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing Mission (SM) 1, IMAX Camera, IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS).

1993 December 13 - .
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