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Schweickart, Russell Louis 'Rusty'
Credit: www.spacefacts.de
American pilot astronaut 1963-1979.

Status: Inactive; Active 1963-1979. Born: 1935-10-25. Spaceflights: 1 . Total time in space: 10.04 days. Birth Place: Neptune, New Jersey.

Educated MIT. Total EVA Time: 0.0319 days. Number of EVAs: 1

Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Russell L. Schweickart
NASA Astronaut (Former)

Russell L. (Rusty) Schweickart is a retired business and government executive and serves today as Chairman of the Board of the B612 Foundation. The organization, a non-profit private foundation, champions the development and testing of a spaceflight concept to protect the Earth from future asteroid impacts.

Schweickart retired from ALOHA Networks, Inc. in 1998 where he served as President and CEO from 1996 through 1998. ALOHA was a data communications company specializing in high performance, wireless internet access equipment.

Schweickart was formerly the Executive Vice President of CTA Commercial Systems, Inc. and Director of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Systems. Schweickart led CTA’s efforts in developing the GEMnet system, a second generation LEO communication satellite constellation designed to provide regular commercial electronic messaging services on a global basis. Prior to his CTA work Schweickart founded and was president of Courier Satellite Services, Inc., a global satellite communications company which developed LEO satellites to provide worldwide affordable data services

Schweickart's satellite and telecommunications work involved him in the development of international communications regulations and policies, including participation in the 1992 and 1995 World Radiocommunications Conferences (WRC) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). He served at the 1995 WRC as a U.S. delegate. He also worked extensively in Russia and the former Soviet Union on scientific and telecommunications matters.

Schweickart is the founder and past president of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), the international professional society of astronauts and cosmonauts. The organization promotes the cooperative exploration and development of space and the use of space technology for human benefit. The ASE has a current membership of over 300 astronauts and cosmonauts from 29 nations. The Association's first book, The Home Planet, with a preface by Schweickart, was published simultaneously in 10 nations in the Fall of 1988 and was an immediate international best seller.

In 1987-88, Schweickart chaired the United States Antarctic Program Safety Review Panel for the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Washington, DC. The resulting report, Safety in Antarctica, a comprehensive on-site review of all U.S. activities in Antarctica, led to a restructuring of the program, increasing the safety of operations in that hazardous environment. At the request of the National Science Foundation, Schweickart also served on the 1997-1998 United States Antarctic Program Outside Review Panel, which reported to the Whitehouse (OSTP) and Congress on the future of US facilities in Antarctica. The US’ Amundson-Scott South Pole station has recently been fully rebuilt as a result of this work.

In 1977 Schweickart joined the staff of Governor Jerry Brown of California, and served in the Governor's office for two years as his assistant for science and technology. In 1979 Schweickart was appointed to the post of Commissioner of Energy for the State of California and served on the Commission for five and a half years. The Commission, which was chaired by Schweickart for three and a half years, was responsible for all aspects of energy regulation in the state other than rate setting, including energy demand forecasting, alternative energy development, powerplant siting and energy performance regulation for appliances and buildings.

Schweickart joined NASA as one of 14 astronauts named in October 1963, the third group of astronauts selected. He served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 9, March 3-13, 1969, logging 241 hours in space. This was the third manned flight of the Apollo series and the first manned flight of the lunar module. During a 46 minute EVA Schweickart tested the portable life support backpack which was subsequently used on the lunar surface explorations. On the mission with Schweickart were commander James A. McDivitt and command module pilot David R. Scott.

Schweickart served as backup commander for the first Skylab mission which flew in the Spring of 1973. Following the loss of the thermal shield during the launch of the Skylab vehicle, he assumed responsibility for the development of hardware and procedures associated with erecting the emergency solar shade and deployment of the jammed solar array wing, operations which transformed Skylab from an imminent disaster to a highly successful program.

After the Skylab program, Schweickart went to NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC as Director of User Affairs in the Office of Applications. In this position he was responsible for transferring NASA technology to the outside world and working with technology users to bring an understanding of their needs into NASA.

Prior to joining NASA, Schweickart was a research scientist at the Experimental Astronomy Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His work at MIT involved research in upper atmospheric physics, star tracking and the stabilization of stellar images. His thesis for a master's degree at MIT was an experimental validation of theoretical models of stratospheric radiance.

Schweickart served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and the Massachusetts Air National Guard from 1956 to 1963. He has logged over 4000 hours of flight time, including 3500 hours in high performance jet aircraft.

Schweickart was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal (1969) and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale De La Vaux Medal (1970) for his Apollo 9 flight. He also received the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Special Trustees Award (Emmy) in 1969 for transmitting the first live TV pictures from space. In 1973 Schweickart was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for his leadership role in the Skylab rescue efforts.

He is a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society and the International Academy of Astronautics, and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Schweickart is an Honorary Trustee and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.

Schweickart was born on 25 October 1935 in Neptune, NJ. He is married to Nancy Ramsey of West Hartford, CT. He has seven children and eleven grandchildren. He graduated from Manasquan High School, NJ; received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1956 and his Master of Science degree in 1963, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His hobbies include golf, bicycling, and hiking.


This is the only version available from NASA. Updates must be sought direct from the above named individual.

Official Biography

NAME: Russell L. Schweickart

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Schweickart was born October 25, 1935, in Neptune, NJ.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and Master of Science in aeronautics and astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

EXPERIENCE: Following graduation, he served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard from 1956 to 1963, logging 4,200 hours of flight time, 3,500 in jet aircraft. During part of this period he worked as a research scientist in the Experimental Astronomy Laboratory at MIT.

Schweickart was selected by NASA in October 1963. He was Lunar Module for Apollo 9, a ten day earth orbit flight launched March 3, 1969. Together with David R. Scott and James McDivitt, Schweickart conducted first Ďall-up' test of the complete set of Apollo moon-landing hardware. McDivitt and Schweickart separated the Lunar Module and flew 180 km from Scott and the Command Module before manoeuvring back to redock with the Command Module. Schweickart also went on a 46 minute space walk to test the new spacesuit model that astronauts would later use on the moon.

Schweickart later moved to NASA Headquarters in Washington as Director of User Affairs in the Office of Applications, responsible for transferring NASA technology to the outside world. He then held several technology-related positions with the California state government, including Assistant to the Governor for Science and Technology. In 1979, he was named Chairman of the California Energy Commission. Later Schweickart was president of Aloha Networks.

Family: Astronaut, NASA Group 3 - 1963. Country: USA. Spacecraft: Skylab. Flights: Apollo 204, Apollo 207, Apollo 9, Skylab 2. Projects: Apollo. Agency: USAF. More at: 5991.

Photo Gallery

Apollo 9Apollo 9
Astronaut Russell Schweickart photographed during EVA
Credit: NASA

1935 October 25 - .
  • Birth of Russel Luis 'Rusty' Schweickart - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Schweickart. American pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 9..

1963 June 5 - .
1963 October 17 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 3 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin, Anders, Bassett, Bean, Cernan, Chaffee, Collins, Cunningham, Eisele, Freeman, Gordon, Schweickart, Scott, Williams, Clifton.

    The group was selected to provide crew members for planned Apollo missions (then planned as 4 Saturn I missions in 1965, 2-4 Saturn IB missions in 1966, 6 Saturn V missions from 1967).. 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.. There were 271 applications, 200 from civilians (including two women) and 71 from military pilots (including two African-Americans). President Kennedy pushed for NASA to appoint a black astronaut, but neither of the applicants met the test pilot requirements. Bobby Kennedy arranged for one of these, USAF Captain Edward Dwight, to be enrolled in the USAF Test Pilot school. He graduated, and then had the necessary qualifications. He was 28 years old, an engineering school graduate, and a B-57 bomber command pilot with 2,000 hours flying time. However NASA did not find him as well qualified as other candidates, and he was not among the 32 chosen for final physical and mental tests.

    From these 32, the final 14 were selected. Of them, four would die (two in a T-38 crash, one in a car crash, and one in the Apollo 204 ground fire) before flying in space. All of the ten remaining would fly in the Apollo program.

1963 October 18 - .
  • Selection of 14 astronauts for Projects Gemini and Apollo - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin, Anders, Bassett, Bean, Cernan, Chaffee, Collins, Cunningham, Eisele, Freeman, Gordon, Schweickart, Scott, Williams, Clifton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft Bus: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini.

    NASA announced the selection of 14 astronauts for Projects Gemini and Apollo, bringing to 30 the total number of American spacemen. They were Maj. Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Capt. William A. Anders, Capt. Charles A. Bassett II, Capt. Michael Collins, Capt. Donn F. Eisele, Capt. Theodore C. Freeman, and Capt. David R. Scott of the Air Force; Lt. Cdr. Richard F. Gordon, Jr., Lt. Alan L. Bean, Lt. Eugene A. Cernan, and Lt. Roger B. Chaffee of the Navy; Capt. Clifton C. Williams, Jr., of the Marine Corps; R. Walter Cunningham, research scientist for the Rand Corporation; and Russell L. Schweickart, research scientist for MIT.

1964 February 3 - .
1965 February 16 - .
  • Specialty areas for 13 astronauts not assigned to Gemini - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin, Anders, Bassett, Bean, Cernan, Chaffee, Collins, Cunningham, Eisele, Freeman, Gordon, Schweickart, Scott, Williams, Clifton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, CSM ECS, LM Communications, LM ECS, LM Guidance.

    MSC announced a realignment of specialty areas for the 13 astronauts not assigned to forthcoming Gemini missions (GT 3 through 5) or to strictly administrative positions:

    Operations and Training
    Edwin E. Aldrin, branch chief - mission planning

    Charles A. Bassett - operations handbooks, training, and simulators

    Alan L. Bean - recovery systems

    Michael Collins - pressure suits and extravehicular activity

    David R. Scott - mission planning and guidance and navigation

    Clifton C. Williams - range operations, deep space instrumentation, and crew safety.

    Project Apollo
    Richard F. Gordon, branch chief - overall astronaut activities in Apollo area and liaison for CSM development

    Donn F. Eisele - CSM and LEM

    William A. Anders - environmental control system and radiation and thermal systems

    Eugene A. Cernan - boosters, spacecraft propulsion, and the Agena stage

    Roger B. Chaffee - communications, flight controls, and docking

    R. Walter Cunningham - electrical and sequential systems and non-flight experiments

    Russell L. Schweickart - in-flight experiments and future programs.

1966 October 19 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
1967 January 27 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
1967 August - .
  • Apollo 207 (cancelled) - . Crew: McDivitt, Schweickart, Scott. Backup Crew: Cernan, Stafford, Young. Payload: CSM-101. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cernan, McDivitt, Schweickart, Scott, Stafford, Young. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 207. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo CSM. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM.

    Before the Apollo 1 fire, it was planned that McDivitt's crew would conduct the Apollo D mission - a first manned test in earth orbit of the Lunar Module. Separate Saturn IB launches would put Apollo Block II CSM 101 / AS-207 and Lunar Module LM-2 / AS-208 into earth orbit. The crew would then rendezvous and dock with the lunar module and put it through its paces. After the fire, it was decided to launch the mission on a single Saturn V as Apollo 9.

1969 March 3 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: LUT2. LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Apollo 9 - . Call Sign: Gumdrop. Crew: McDivitt, Schweickart, Scott. Backup Crew: Bean, Conrad, Gordon. Payload: Apollo CSM 104 / Apollo LM 3 / Saturn S-IVB-504N. Mass: 36,511 kg (80,492 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bean, Conrad, Gordon, McDivitt, Schweickart, Scott. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo CSM. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 10.04 days. Decay Date: 1969-03-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 3769 . COSPAR: 1969-018A. Apogee: 187 km (116 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 32.6000 deg. Period: 88.60 min.

    Apollo 9 (AS-504), the first manned flight with the lunar module (LM-3), was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, KSC, on a Saturn V launch vehicle at 11:00 a.m. EST March 3. Originally scheduled for a February 28 liftoff, the launch had been delayed to allow crew members James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart to recover from a mild virus respiratory illness. Following a normal launch phase, the S-IVB stage inserted the spacecraft into an orbit of 192.3 by 189.3 kilometers. After post-insertion checkout, CSM 104 separated from the S-IVB, was transposed, and docked with the LM. At 3:08 p.m. EST, the docked spacecraft were separated from the S-IVB, which was then placed on an earth-escape trajectory. On March 4 the crew tracked landmarks, conducted pitch and roll yaw maneuvers, and increased the apogee by service propulsion system burns.

    On March 5 McDivitt and Schweickart entered the LM through the docking tunnel, evaluated the LM systems, transmitted the first of two series of telecasts, and fired the LM descent propulsion system. They then returned to the CM.

    McDivitt and Schweickart reentered the LM on March 6. After transmitting a second telecast, Schweickart performed a 37-minute extravehicular activity (EVA), walking between the LM and CSM hatches, maneuvering on handrails, taking photographs, and describing rain squalls over KSC.

    On March 7, with McDivitt and Schweickart once more in the LM, Scott separated the CSM from the LM and fired the reaction control system thrusters to obtain a distance of 5.5 kilometers between the two spacecraft. McDivitt and Schweickart then performed a lunar-module active rendezvous. The LM successfully docked with the CSM after being up to 183.5 kilometers away from it during the six-and-one-half-hour separation. After McDivitt and Schweickart returned to the CSM, the LM ascent stage was jettisoned.

    During the remainder of the mission, the crew tracked Pegasus III, NASA's meteoroid detection satellite that had been launched July 30, 1965; took multispectral photos of the earth; exercised the spacecraft systems; and prepared for reentry.

1969 March 6 - . 16:45 GMT - .
1969 March 13 - .
  • Landing of Apollo 9 - . Return Crew: McDivitt, Schweickart, Scott. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McDivitt, Schweickart, Scott. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9.

    The Apollo 9 CM splashed down in the Atlantic 290 kilometers east of the Bahamas at 17:01 GMT. The crew was picked up by helicopter and flown to the recovery ship U.S.S. Guadalcanal within one hour after splashdown. Primary objectives of the flight were successfully accomplished.

1973 May 25 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: LUT1. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Skylab 2 - . Call Sign: Skylab. Crew: Conrad, Kerwin, Weitz. Backup Crew: McCandless, Musgrave, Schweickart. Payload: Apollo CSM 116. Mass: 19,979 kg (44,046 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Conrad, Kerwin, McCandless, Musgrave, Schweickart, Weitz. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Skylab. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Skylab 2. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo CSM. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 28.03 days. Decay Date: 1973-06-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 6655 . COSPAR: 1973-032A. Apogee: 440 km (270 mi). Perigee: 425 km (264 mi). Inclination: 50.0000 deg. Period: 93.20 min.

    Epic repair mission which brought Skylab into working order. Included such great moments as Conrad being flung through space by the whiplash after heaving on the solar wing just as the debris constraining it gave way; deployment of a lightweight solar shield, developed in Houston in one week, which brought the temperatures down to tolerable levels. With this flight US again took manned spaceflight duration record.

    Skylab 2 , consisting of a modified Apollo CSM payload and a Saturn IB launch vehicle, was inserted into Earth orbit approximately 10 minutes after liftoff. The orbit achieved was 357 by 156 km and, during a six-hour period following insertion, four maneuvers placed the CSM into a 424 by 415 km orbit for rendezvous with the Orbital Workshop. Normal rendezvous sequencing led to stationkeeping during the fifth revolution followed by a flyaround inspection of the damage to the OWS. The crew provided a verbal description of the damage in conjunction with 15 minutes of television coverage. The solar array system wing (beam) 2 was completely missing. The solar array system wing (beam) 1 was slightly deployed and was restrained by a fragment of the meteoroid shield. Large sections of the meteoroid shield were missing. Following the flyaround inspection, the CSM soft-docked with the OWS at 5:56 p.m. EDT to plan the next activities. At 6:45 p.m. EDT the CSM undocked and extravehicular activity was initiated to deploy the beam 1 solar array. The attempt failed. Frustration of the crew was compounded when eight attempts were required to achieve hard docking with the OWS. The hard dock was made at 11:50 p.m. EDT, terminating a Skylab 2 first-day crew work period of 22 hours.

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