Encyclopedia Astronautica
Richards



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Richards
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
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STS-28
STS-28 Columbia, OV-102, Pilot Richards at forward flight deck pilots station
Credit: NASA
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STS-28
STS-28 Columbia, OV-102, Pilot Richards adjusts LES before bailout exercises
Credit: NASA
Richards, Richard Noel 'Dick' (1946-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-28, STS-41, STS-50, STS-64.

Grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Educated Missouri; West Florida; Patuxent. US Navy test pilot.


NASA Official Biography

NAME: Richard (Dick) N. Richards (Captain, USN)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Born August 24, 1946, in Key West, Florida, but considers St. Louis, Missouri, to be his hometown. Married to the former Lois Hollabaugh of Amarillo, Texas. He enjoys skiing, running, and racquetball. His mother, Mrs. Marjorie Richards, resides in St. Louis.

EDUCATION:
Graduated from Riverview Gardens High School in St Louis, Missouri, in 1964; received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri in 1969, and a master of science in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida in 1970.

ORGANIZATIONS:
Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honorary; and Lambda Chi Alpha, Social Fraternity.

SPECIAL HONORS:
Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Space Flight Medals (4), NASA Exceptional Service Medal, National Defense Service Medals (2), Vietnam Service Medal.

Distinguished Graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and Naval Air Test Center Test Pilot of the Year for 1980.

EXPERIENCE:
Richards was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy upon graduating from the University of Missouri in 1969 and was designated a naval aviator in August of the following year. From 1970 to 1973, he flew support missions in the A-4 Skyhawk and F-4 Phantom airplanes while assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty-Three at Norfolk Naval Air Station, Virginia. He subsequently reported to Fighter Squadron 103 and deployed to the North Atlantic and Mediterranean aboard the USS America (CV-66) and USS Saratoga (CV-61), flying F-4 airplanes. Selected for test pilot training, he reported to the United States Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1976. A tour in the Naval Air Test Center's Carrier Systems Branch and F/A-18A Program Office of the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate followed Test Pilot School graduation. Over the next 3-1/2 years, Richards served as a project test pilot for automatic carrier landing systems development work in F-4 and A-7 aircraft and also conducted approach/landing/catapult flying qualities and catapult minimum end speed performance testing of a prototype "slatted" F-4S airplane. As carrier suitability project officer for the F/A-18A Hornet airplane, he made the first shipboard catapults and arrested landings during Initial Sea Trials of the F/A-18A on board the USS AMERICA in 1979. He was reassigned to Fighter Squadron 33 in May 1980 and was en route to that assignment when notified of his selection as an astronaut candidate.

Flight experience has included over 5,300 hours in 16 different types of airplanes. He has also completed more than 400 landings on board various aircraft carriers.

NASA EXPERIENCE:
Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in May 1980, Richards became an astronaut in August 1981. Richards has flown four times--STS-28 (August 8-13, 1989), STS-41 (October 6-10, 1990), STS-50 (June 25-July 9, 1992), and STS-64 (September 9-20, 1994)--and has logged a total of 33 days, 21 hours, 32 minutes, 15 seconds in space.

On his first space flight, Richards was pilot on the crew of STS-28 which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 8, 1989. The mission carried Department of Defense payloads and a number of secondary payloads. After 80 orbits of the Earth, this five-day mission concluded with a dry lakebed landing on Runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on August 13, 1989. Mission duration was 121 hours 9 seconds.

Slightly more than one year later, Richards commanded the crew of STS-41. The five-man crew launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on October 6 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 10, 1990. During 66 orbits of the Earth, the STS-41 crew successfully deployed the Ulysses spacecraft, starting this interplanetary probe on its four-year journey, via Jupiter, to investigate the polar regions of the Sun.

In June 1992, Richards commanded the crew of STS-50 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. STS-50 was the first flight of the United States Microgravity Laboratory and the first extended duration Orbiter flight. Over a two-week period, the STS-50 flight crew conducted a wide variety of experiments relating to materials processing and fluid physics in a microgravity environment. At that time this was the longest Space Shuttle flight in history.

In September 1994, Richards commanded the STS-64 crew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Mission highlights included: the first use of a space based laser for environmental research; deployment and retrieval of a spacecraft in support of solar wind and corona studies; robotic processing of semiconductors; maneuvered the robotic arm in close proximity to over 100 Shuttle reaction control system jet firings to measure forces imparted to a plume detection instrument in support of future Space Station/Shuttle rendezvous flights; first untethered spacewalk in 10 years to test a self-rescue jetpack. Mission duration was 10 days, 22 hours, 51 minutes.

In April 1995, Captain Richards left the Astronaut Office and is now assigned to the Space Shuttle Program Office at the Johnson Space Center. He has been designated as the Mission Director/Manager for the second Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Space Shuttle Mission (STS-82), and Mission Manager for the second Tethered Satellite System Space Shuttle mission (STS-75).

APRIL 1995

Birth Place: Key West, Florida.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1946.08.24.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 33.90 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 9 - 1980 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Nickname: 19+80 - The two European astronauts in the group were not considered by the Americans to be part of the 'official' group. This led to a scene at graduation. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-61-E Crew: McBride, Richards, Leestma, Hoffman, Parker, Durrance, Parise. Planned Astro-1 shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. Backup crew: Nordsieck. More...
  • STS-28 Crew: Adamson, Brown Mark, Leestma, Richards, Shaw. Manned five crew. Deployed two classified satellites. More...
  • STS-41 Crew: Akers, Cabana, Melnick, Richards, Shepherd. Manned five crew. Deployed Ulysses spacecraft. More...
  • STS-50 Crew: Baker, Bowersox, DeLucas, Dunbar, Meade, Richards, Trinh. First extended-duration shuttle mission. Carried United States Microgravity Laboratory. More...
  • STS-64 Crew: Hammond, Helms, Lee, Linenger, Meade, Richards. Flew Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE), Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN) 201-II experiments. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, 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.

Richards Chronology


1980 May 19 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 9 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bagian; Blaha; Bolden; Bridges; Chang-Diaz; Cleave; Dunbar; Fisher, William; Gardner, Guy; Grabe; Hilmers; Leestma; Lounge; O Connor; Richards; Ross; Smith; Spring; Springer. The group was selected to provide pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights.. 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..


1986 March - .
1989 August 8 - . 12:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-28R.
  • STS-28 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Adamson; Brown, Mark; Leestma; Richards; Shaw. Payload: Columbia F08 / DoD. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Adamson; Brown, Mark; Leestma; Richards; Shaw. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-28. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 5.04 days. Decay Date: 1989-08-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 20164 . COSPAR: 1989-061A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 289 km (179 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.50 min. Manned five crew. Deployed 2 classified satellites. Landed at: Runway 17 dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, . Landing Speed: 287 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 1,618.00 m. Landing Rollout: 1,833.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission.

1989 August 13 - .
1990 October 6 - . 11:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-41.
  • STS-41 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Akers; Cabana; Melnick; Richards; Shepherd. Payload: Discovery F11 / Ulysses [IUS + PAM-S]. Mass: 22,140 kg (48,810 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Akers; Cabana; Melnick; Richards; Shepherd. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-41. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 4.09 days. Decay Date: 1990-10-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 20841 . COSPAR: 1990-090A. Apogee: 307 km (190 mi). Perigee: 300 km (180 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Manned five crew. Deployed Ulysses spacecraft. Payloads: Deploy Ulysses, Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet, Intelsat Solar Array Coupon, Solid-Surface Combustion Experiment, Investigations Into Polymer Membrane Processing, Chromo-some and Plant Cell Division in Space, Physiological Systems Experiment, Voice Command System, Radiation Monitoring Equipment III, Air Force Maui Optical Site.

1990 October 10 - .
1992 June 25 - . 16:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-50.
  • STS-50 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Baker; Bowersox; DeLucas; Dunbar; Meade; Richards; Trinh. Payload: Columbia F12 / USML-1 / OAST. Mass: 11,153 kg (24,588 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Baker; Bowersox; DeLucas; Dunbar; Meade; Richards; Trinh. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-50. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 13.81 days. Decay Date: 1992-07-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 22000 . COSPAR: 1992-034A. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). Perigee: 302 km (187 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Carried United States Microgravity Laboratory. First extended-duration mission. Payloads: United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML)-1; Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE); Investigations Into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX)-ll; Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPl) .

1992 July 9 - .
1994 September 9 - . 22:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-64.
  • STS-64 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Hammond; Helms; Lee; Linenger; Meade; Richards. Payload: Discovery F19 / Spartan / LITE. Mass: 9,260 kg (20,410 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Hammond; Helms; Lee; Linenger; Meade; Richards. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-64. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 10.95 days. Decay Date: 1994-09-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 23251 . COSPAR: 1994-059A. Apogee: 247 km (153 mi). Perigee: 233 km (144 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. Payloads: Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE), Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN) 201-II, Robot-Operated Materials Processing System (ROMPS), Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment (SPIFEX), getaway special (GAS) bridge assembly with ten GAS experiments, Trajectory Control Sensor (TCS), Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE), Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) III, Radiation Monitoring Experiment (RME) III, Military Applications of Ship Tracks (MAST), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) II, Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test.

1994 September 20 - .
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