Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Pogue, William Reid 'Bill' (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Skylab 4.

NAME: William R. Pogue

BIRTHDATE AND PLACE: Pogue was born January 23, 1930, in Okemah, Oklahoma.

EDUCATION: Pogue received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1951 and a Master of Science in mathematics from Oklahoma State University in 1960.

EXPERIENCE: Pogue enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and received an officer's commission a year later. From 1952 to 1954 he did a combat tour in Korea with the Fifth Air Force, flying fighter-bombers. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the USAF Thunderbirds precision flying team. He later was an assistant professor in the mathematics department at the Air Force Academy. From 1962 to 1965, following graduation from Britain's Empire Test Pilots' School, Pogue was a test pilot for the British Ministry of Aviation under a USAF/RAF exchange program. He was an instructor at the Air Force Research Pilot School when NASA selected him as an astronaut in April 1966.

Pogue was Command Module Pilot of Skylab 4 (third and final manned visit to the Skylab Orbital Workshop), launched November 16, 1973, and concluded February 8, 1974. This was the longest manned flight (84 days, 1 hour, 15 minutes) in the history of manned space exploration to date. He was accompanied on the record-setting 34.5-million-mile flight by Commander Gerald Carr and Dr. Edward G. Gibson (science pilot). The crew successfully completed 56 experiments, 26 science demonstrations, 15 subsystem detailed objectives, and 13 student investigations during their 1,214 revolutions of the earth. They also acquired extensive earth resources observations data using hand-held cameras and Skylab's Earth Resources Experiment Package camera and sensor array. They logged 338 hours of operation of the Apollo Telescope Mount which made extensive observations of the sun's solar processes. Pogue made two space walks during the mission, totaling 13 hours 31 minutes outside the lab. The crew returned with 780 kg of film, data and biological specimens after the record space flight.

Pogue retired from NASA, and from the Air Force, in 1975. He therafter was president of Vutara Services.

Birth Place: Okemah, Oklahoma.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1930.01.23.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 84.05 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 5 - 1966 Requirement: pilot-astronauts for the Apollo Applications Program (then planned as 10 lunar landings after Apollo 11 and 30 Apollo flights to earth-orbit space stations). Nickname: The Original Nineteen More...

Associated Flights
  • Apollo 14 Crew: Mitchell, Roosa, Shepard. Third manned lunar landing. Only Mercury astronaut to reach moon. Five attempts to dock the command module with the lunar module failed for no apparent reason - mission saved when sixth was successful. Hike to Cone Crater frustrating; rim not reached. Backup crew: Cernan, Engle, Evans.Support crew: Chapman, McCandless, Pogue. More...
  • Skylab 4 Crew: Carr, Gibson Edward, Pogue. Record flight duration. Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Backup crew: Brand, Lenoir, Lind. More...
  • Apollo 19 Crew: Haise, Pogue, Carr. Apollo 19 was originally planned to land in the Hyginus Rille region, which would allow study of lunar linear rilles and craters.The original July 1972 landing date was extended when NASA cancelled the Apollo 20 mission in January 1970.Support crew: England, Hartsfield, Peterson. More...

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

Associated Programs
  • Apollo The successful US project to land a man on the moon. More...
  • Skylab First and only US space station to date. Project began life as Apollo Orbital Workshop - outfitting of an S-IVB stage with docking adapter with equipment launched by several subsequent S-1B launches. Curtailment of the Apollo moon landings meant that surplus Saturn V's were available, so the pre-equipped, five times heavier, and much more capable Skylab resulted. More...

Pogue Chronology

1966 April 4 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 5 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brand; Bull; Carr; Duke; Engle; Evans; Givens; Haise; Irwin; Lind; Lousma; Mattingly; McCandless; Mitchell; Pogue; Roosa; Swigert; Weitz; Worden. The group was selected to provide pilot-astronauts for the Apollo Applications Program (then planned as 10 lunar landings after Apollo 11 and 30 Apollo flights to earth-orbit space stations).. Qualifications: Qualified jet pilot with minimum 1,000 flight-hours, bachleor's degree in engineering or physical or biological sciences, under 35 years old, under 183 cm height, excellent health. US citizen.. 351 applications (including six women and a legless US Navy pilot). All 19, except X-15 astronaut Engle, would fly into space on Apollo or Skylab missions. Engle and six others would fly shuttle missions.

1971 January 31 - . 21:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V. LV Configuration: Saturn V SA-509.
  • Apollo 14 - . Call Sign: Kitty Hawk. Crew: Mitchell; Roosa; Shepard. Backup Crew: Cernan; Engle; Evans. Support Crew: Chapman; McCandless; Pogue. Payload: Apollo CSM 110 / Apollo LM 8 / ALSEP / S-IVB-509. Mass: 29,230 kg (64,440 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Mitchell; Roosa; Shepard; Cernan; Engle; Evans; Chapman; McCandless; Pogue. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 14. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 9.00 days. Decay Date: 1971-02-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 4900 . COSPAR: 1971-008A. Apogee: 183 km (113 mi). Perigee: 170 km (100 mi). Inclination: 31.1200 deg. Period: 88.18 min. The Apollo 14 (AS-509) mission - manned by astronauts Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Stuart A. Roosa, and Edgar D. Mitchell - was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 4:03 p.m. EST January 31 on a Saturn V launch vehicle. A 40-minute hold had been ordered 8 minutes before scheduled launch time because of unsatisfactory weather conditions, the first such delay in the Apollo program. Activities during earth orbit and translunar injection were similar to those of the previous lunar landing missions. However, during transposition and docking, CSM 110 Kitty Hawk had difficulty docking with LM-8 Antares. A hard dock was achieved on the sixth attempt at 9:00 p.m. EST, 1 hour 54 minutes later than planned. Other aspects of the translunar journey were normal and proceeded according to flight plan. A crew inspection of the probe and docking mechanism was televised during the coast toward the moon. The crew and ground personnel were unable to determine why the CSM and LM had failed to dock properly, but there was no indication that the systems would not work when used later in the flight.

    Apollo 14 entered lunar orbit at 1:55 a.m. EST on February 4. At 2:41 a.m. the separated S-IVB stage and instrument unit struck the lunar surface 174 kilometers southeast of the planned impact point. The Apollo 12 seismometer, left on the moon in November 1969, registered the impact and continued to record vibrations for two hours.

    After rechecking the systems in the LM, astronauts Shepard and Mitchell separated the LM from the CSM and descended to the lunar surface. The Antares landed on Fra Mauro at 4:17 a.m. EST February 5, 9 to 18 meters short of the planned landing point. The first EVA began at 9:53 a.m., after intermittent communications problems in the portable life support system had caused a 49-minute delay. The two astronauts collected a 19.5-kilogram contingency sample; deployed the TV, S-band antenna, American flag, and Solar Wind Composition experiment; photographed the LM, lunar surface, and experiments; deployed the Apollo lunar surface experiments package 152 meters west of the LM and the laser-ranging retroreflector 30 meters west of the ALSEP; and conducted an active seismic experiment, firing 13 thumper shots into the lunar surface.

    A second EVA period began at 3:11 a.m. EST February 6. The two astronauts loaded the mobile equipment transporter (MET) - used for the first time - with photographic equipment, tools, and a lunar portable magnetometer. They made a geology traverse toward the rim of Cone Crater, collecting samples on the way. On their return, they adjusted the alignment of the ALSEP central station antenna in an effort to strengthen the signal received by the Manned Space Flight Network ground stations back on earth.

    Just before reentering the LM, astronaut Shepard dropped a golf ball onto the lunar surface and on the third swing drove the ball 366 meters. The second EVA had lasted 4 hours 35 minutes, making a total EVA time for the mission of 9 hours 24 minutes. The Antares lifted off the moon with 43 kilograms of lunar samples at 1:48 p.m. EST February 6.

    Meanwhile astronaut Roosa, orbiting the moon in the CSM, took astronomy and lunar photos, including photos of the proposed Descartes landing site for Apollo 16.

    Ascent of the LM from the lunar surface, rendezvous, and docking with the CSM in orbit were performed as planned, with docking at 3:36 p.m. EST February 6. TV coverage of the rendezvous and docking maneuver was excellent. The two astronauts transferred from the LM to the CSM with samples, equipment, and film. The LM ascent stage was then jettisoned and intentionally crashed on the moon's surface at 7:46 p.m. The impact was recorded by the Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 ALSEPs.

    The spacecraft was placed on its trajectory toward earth during the 34th lunar revolution. During transearth coast, four inflight technical demonstrations of equipment and processes in zero gravity were performed.

    The CM and SM separated, the parachutes deployed, and other reentry events went as planned, and the Kitty Hawk splashed down in mid-Pacific at 4:05 p.m. EST February 9 about 7 kilometers from the recovery ship U.S.S. New Orleans. The Apollo 14 crew returned to Houston on February 12, where they remained in quarantine until February 26.

    All primary mission objectives had been met. The mission had lasted 216 hours 40 minutes and was marked by the following achievements:

    • Third manned lunar landing mission and return.
    • Use of mobile equipment transporter (MET).
    • Payload of 32,500 kilograms placed in lunar orbit.
    • Distance of 3.3 kilometers traversed on lunar surface.
    • Payload of 43.5 kilograms returned from the lunar surface.
    • Lunar surface stay time of 33 hours.
    • Lunar surface EVA of 9 hours 47 minutes.
    • Use of shortened rendezvous technique.
    • Service propulsion system orbit insertion.
    • Active seismic experiment.
    • Inflight technical demonstrations.
    • Extensive orbital science period during CSM solo operations.

1973 November 16 - . 14:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-208.
  • Skylab 4 - . Call Sign: Skylab. Crew: Carr; Gibson, Edward; Pogue. Backup Crew: Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Payload: Apollo CSM 118. Mass: 20,847 kg (45,959 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Gibson, Edward; Pogue; Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Skylab. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 84.05 days. Decay Date: 1974-02-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 6936 . COSPAR: 1973-090A. Apogee: 437 km (271 mi). Perigee: 422 km (262 mi). Inclination: 50.0000 deg. Period: 93.10 min. Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totalling 22 hours, 13 minutes. Increased manned space flight time record by 50%. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Biological experiments included two Mummichog fish (Fundulus heteroclitus).

    The space vehicle consisted of a modified Apollo CSM and a Saturn IB launch vehicle. All launch phase events were normal, and the CSM was inserted into a 150.1- by 227.08-km orbit. The rendezvous sequence was performed according to the anticipated timeline. Stationkeeping was initiated about seven and one-half hours after liftoff, and hard docking was achieved about 30 minutes later following two unsuccessful docking attempts. Planned duration of the mission was 56 days, with the option of extending it to a maximum of 84 days.

1973 November 23 - . 17:42 GMT - .
1973 December - .
1973 December 25 - . 16:00 GMT - .
  • EVA Skylab 4-2 - . Crew: Carr; Pogue. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.29 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Pogue. Program: Skylab. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Photographed Comet Kohoutek and replaced solar camera film cartridges..

1974 February 8 - .
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