Encyclopedia Astronautica

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Sacco, Dr Albert Jr 'Al' (1949-) American chemical engineer payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-73.

Educated Northeastern; MIT.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Albert Sacco, Jr. (Ph.D.)
Payload Specialist

Born on May 3, 1949, in Boston, Massachusetts. Married the former Teran Lee Gardner, of Massachusetts, in November 1971. They have four children. He enjoys jogging, reading, walking, and is an avid scuba diver and a certified scuba instructor. His mother, Sarah Kathleen, and his father, Albert, Sr., reside in Belmont, Massachusetts. Her mother, Marian, and father, Carl, reside in Gilford, New Hampshire.

Graduated from Belmont Senior High School in 1968; received a bachelor of science degree in Chemical Engineering with honors from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, in 1973; was awarded a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1977.

Dr. Sacco is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Treasurer-Western Section, 1979-1982); past president of the New England Catalysis Society (1983-1985), and the New England representative to the North American Catalysis Society (1985-1989); an Advisory Board member of the American Carbon Society; a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and serves on the AIAA Technical Committee on Space Processing (1990-1995); and a member of the Association of Space Explorers-USA.

Dr. Sacco has over 70 publications (including book chapters) in the areas of carbon filament initiation and growth, catalyst deactivation, and zeolite synthesis.

One of the four U.S. experts invited to put on a joint U.S./European NATO Advanced Study Institute "Carbon Fibers and Filaments" (1989); was honored in 1984 by the Worcester Engineering Society, receiving the Admiral Earl Award for meritorious contributions in applied sciences, specifically in the fields of catalysis and adsorbent deactivation; received a National Science Foundation Young Faculty Initiation Grant (1978); and won the Northeast AIChE student paper contest in 1973.

Since 1977, Professor Sacco has been on the faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He has split his time between research and teaching. He was appointed Department Head in July 1989. He has consulted for numerous companies in the fields of catalysis, solid/gas contacting, and equipment design for space applications. Also he, with his father (Al) and brother (Bernard), ran a family restaurant business in Boston for over 20 years.

Dr. Sacco flew as a payload specialist on STS-73, which launched on October 20, 1995, and landed at the Kennedy Space Center on November 5, 1995. The 16 day mission aboard Columbia focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, and fluid physics contained within the pressurized Spacelab module.

Dr. Sacco is presently a Professor and Head of the Chemical Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is also the Principal Investigator on the Zeolite Crystal Growth experiments, which flew on STS-73.


Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts.
Status: Inactive.

Born: 1949.05.03.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 15.91 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Flights
  • STS-73 Crew: Bowersox, Coleman, Leslie, Lopez-Alegria, Rominger, Sacco, Thornton. Carried USML-2 for microgravity experiments (attached to Columbia). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
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...

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

Sacco Chronology

1995 October 20 - . 13:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-73.
  • STS-73 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Bowersox; Coleman; Leslie; Lopez-Alegria; Rominger; Sacco; Thornton. Payload: Columbia F18 / Spacelab LM / EDO. Mass: 15,250 kg (33,620 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bowersox; Coleman; Leslie; Lopez-Alegria; Rominger; Sacco; Thornton. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-73. Spacecraft: Columbia. Duration: 15.91 days. Decay Date: 1995-11-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 23688 . COSPAR: 1995-056A. Apogee: 241 km (149 mi). Perigee: 241 km (149 mi). Inclination: 39.0000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. Summary: Carried USML-2 for microgravity experiments (attached to Columbia). Payloads: United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML) 2, Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE)..

1995 November 5 - .
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