Status: Inactive; Active 1966-1986. Born: 1932-08-26. Spaceflights: 5 . Total time in space: 9.35 days. Birth Place: Abilene, Kansas.
Born in Abilene, Kansas. Bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from University of Kansas. Entered the USAF in 1955. Served in fighter squadrons in the US, Italy, Denmark, and Spain. Graduated from USAF Experimental Test Pilot School in 1961 and selected as X-15 pilot in 1963. Selected as NASA astronaut in 1966 but did not fly in space again until 1981, after being bumped as Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 17 by geologist Jack Schmitt. Air National Guard Assistant to CINC, Space Command; aerospace and sporting goods consultant.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:MAJOR GENERAL JOE H. ENGLE
USAF / AIR NATIONAL GUARD, RET.
NASA ASTRONAUT, RET.
Major General Joe H. Engle is retired from the Air National Guard, the United States Air Force, and the NASA Astronaut program. He was married to the late Mary Catherine Lawrence of Mission Hills, Kansas and has two grown children and two grandchildren. He is now married to Jeanie Carter Engle of Houston, Texas and has one stepchild. He is currently an engineering consultant and technical advisor on space vehicles and space operations, and is serving as Technical Advisor to NASA’s International Space Station Advisory Committee. He is also a consultant-spokesman for Bushnell Performance Optics.
General Engle was born 26 Aug 1932 in Dickinson County, Kansas, and graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1956. He received his commission through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Kansas and entered USAF flying school in March 1956.
General Engle served with the 474th Fighter Day Squadron (later re-designated the 309th Tactical Fighter Squadron) flying F-100’s at George AFB, CA. In 1960 he was selected for the USAF Test Pilot School and the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School (commanded by then Col. Chuck Yeager) at Edwards AFB, CA. Upon graduation he was assigned to the Fighter Test Branch at Edwards AFB where he flew numerous and varied flight tests on century series fighters. In 1963 Captain Engle was assigned as one of two Air Force test pilots to fly the X-15 Research Rocket aircraft. On 29 June 1965 he flew the X-15 to an altitude of 280,600 feet, and became the youngest pilot ever to qualify as an astronaut. Three of his sixteen flights in the X-15 exceeded the 50-mile (264,000 feet) altitude required for astronaut rating.
In March 1966, Engle was one of 19 pilots selected for NASA space missions. He was the back-up Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 14 mission, and was to fly to and walk on the moon on Apollo 17 until budget cuts canceled the last 3 planned Apollo flights.
From June through October 1977, General Engle was the commander of one of two crews that flew the initial Space Shuttle “Enterprise” Approach and Landing Test flights. The Space Shuttle was flown off the top of a modified Boeing 747 for a 2 ½ minute glide test flight from 20,000 feet to landing.
On 12 Nov 1981, General Engle commanded the second orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle “Columbia”, launched from Kennedy Space Center, FL. On this flight he became the first and only pilot to manually fly an aerospace vehicle from Mach 25 to landing.
The general served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA Headquarters from March to December 1982. He retained his flight astronaut status and returned to Johnson Space Center in January 1983.
General Engle was Commander of Space Shuttle “Discovery” on flight 51-I which launched from Kennedy Space Center on 27 Aug 1985. The crew deployed three communications satellites, and performed a successful on-orbit rendezvous and manual repair of the disabled SYNCOM communications satellite.
General Engle has flown over 185 different types of aircraft including 38 different fighter and attack aircraft. He has logged more than 14,700 flight hours – 9,900 in jets and over 224 hours in space. His military decorations include the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, and the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster. He has also been awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and NASA Space Flight Medal with device.
Other awards include the Harmon International Aviation Trophy, the Collier Trophy, the Goddard Space Trophy, the Gen. Thomas D. White Space Trophy, and the Kinchelow Experimental Test Pilot’s Trophy.
In 1964, he was selected as the USAF Outstanding Young Officer of the Year. That same year he was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. Later that year he was named Kansan of the Year. In 1982 he received the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Citation, (the highest honor the University of Kansas can bestow upon an individual), and that same year, he received the University of Kansas School of Engineering Distinguished Engineering Service Award.
He has been inducted into the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and in 2001 he was one of four aviation pioneers enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
In his last active duty military assignment, General Engle was the Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander in Chief, United States Space Command and North American Air Defense Command, with Headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, CO. As “Test Pilot Emeritus” of the USAF Test Pilot School, he remains active in flying, including current jet fighter aircraft, and is also an avid outdoor sportsman and wildlife enthusiast.
This is the only version available from NASA. Updates must be sought direct from the above named individual.
Official NASA Biography
NAME: Joe Henry Engle (Colonel, USAF)
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born August 26, 1932, Dickinson County, Kansas; home, Chapman, Kansas.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Blond hair; hazel eyes; height: 6 feet; weight: 165 pounds.
EDUCATION: Attended primary and secondary schools in Chapman, Kansas, and is a graduate of Dickinson County High School; received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Kansas in 1955.
MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Mary Catherine Lawrence of Mission Hills, Kansas.
CHILDREN: Laurie J., April 25, 1959; and Jon L., May 9, 1962.
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: His hobbies include flying (including World War II fighter aircraft), big game hunting, backpacking, and athletics.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP).
SPECIAL HONORS: For flight testing of the NASA-USAF X-15 research rocket airplane, he received the: USAF Astronaut Wings (1964), USAF Distinguished Flying Cross (1964), AFA Outstanding Young USAF Officer of 1964, U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce -- Ten Outstanding, Young Men in America (1964), AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award for Flight Research (1966), and AIAA Pioneer of Flight Award (1965).
For flight testing of the Space Shuttle Enterprise during the Approach and Landing Test program in 1977, he received the: USAF Distinguished Flying Cross (1978), SETP Iven C. Kincheloe Award for Flight Test (1977) NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Special Achievement Award, AFA David C. Schilling Award for Flight, AIAA Haley Space Flight Award for 1980, AAS Flight Achievement Award, and Soaring Society of America - Certificate of Achievement.
For the orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia during STS-2 in November 1981, he received the: Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal; NASA Distinguished Service Medal; Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy; Thomas D. White Space Trophy; Robert J. Collier Trophy; Clifford B. Harmon International Trophy; Kansan of the Year, 1981; Distinguished Service Award, University of Kansas, 1982; Distinguished Engineering Service Award, University of Kansas, 1982; and DAR Medal of Honor, 1981.
EXPERIENCE: Engle was a test pilot in the X-15 research program at Edwards AirForce Base, California, from June 1963 until his assignment to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Three of his 16 flights in the X-15 exceeded an altitude of 50 miles (the altitude that qualifies a pilot for astronaut rating). Prior to that time, he was a test pilot in the Fighter Test Group at Edwards.
He received his commission in the Air Force through the AFROTC Program at the University of Kansas and entered flying school in 1957. He served with the 474th Fighter Day Squadron and the 309th Tactical Fighter Squadron at George Air Force Base, California. He is a graduate of the USAF Experimental Test Pilot School and the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School.
He has flown over 140 different types of aircraft during his career (25 different fighters), logging more than 11,600 hours flight time -- 8,060 in jet aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Engle is one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He was back-up lunar module pilot for the Apollo 14 mission.
He was commander of one of the two crews that flew the Space Shuttle approach and landing test flights from June through October 1977. The Space Shuttle "Enterprise" was carried to 25,000 feet on top of the Boeing 747 carrier aircraft, and then released for its two minute glide flight to landing. In this series of flight tests, he evaluated the Orbiter handling qualities and landing characteristics, and obtained the stability and control, and performance data in the subsonic flight envelope for the Space Shuttle. Engle and Richard Truly flew the first flight of the Space Shuttle in the orbital configuration.
Engle was the back-up commander for STS-1, the first Shuttle orbital test flight of the Shuttle Columbia.
Engle was commander of the second orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November, 12, 1981. His pilot for this flight, STS-2, was Richard H. Truly. Despite a mission shortened from 5 days to 2 days because of a failed fuel cell, the crew accomplished more than 90% of the objectives set for STS-2 before returning to a landing on the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, November 14, 1981. Major test objectives included the first tests in space of the 50-foot remote manipulator arm. Also, twenty-nine flight test maneuvers were performed during the entry profile at speeds from Mach 24 (18,500 mph) to subsonic. These maneuvers were designed to extract aerodynamic and aerothermodynamic data during hypersonic entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
Engle served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA Headquarters from March 1982 to December 1982. He retained his flight astronaut status and returned to the Johnson Space Center in January 1983.
On his next mission, Engle was commander of STS 51-I which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 27, 1985. His crew was Richard O. Covey (pilot), and three mission specialists, William F. Fisher, John M. Lounge, and James D. van Hoften. The mission was acknowledged as the most successful Space Shuttle mission yet flown. The crew 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 lb SYNCOM IV-3 satellite. This repair activity saw the first manual grapple and manual deployment of a satellite by a crew member. STS 51-I completed 112 orbits of the Earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 3, 1985. With the completion of this flight Engle has logged over 224 hours in space.
Currently Air National Guard Assistant to CINC, U.S. Space Command; maintains Currency in F-16 ANG aircraft; also aerospace and sporting goods consultant.
Departed Date: 1986-11-30. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two children. Education: Kansas;Edwards.
Astronauts Truly and Engle engaged in on-board activity
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.
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:
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.