Status: Deceased; Active 1978-1986. Born: 1939-05-19. Died: 1986-01-28. Spaceflights: 2 . Total time in space: 6.99 days. Birth Place: Cle Elum, Washington.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:FRANCIS R. (DICK) SCOBEE (LT. COL., U.s. Air Force, Ret.)
NASA ASTRONAUT (DECEASED)
PERSONAL DATA: Born May 19, 1939, in Cle Elum, Washington. Died January 28, 1986. He is survived by his wife, June, and two children. He enjoyed flying, oil painting, woodworking, motorcycling, racquetball, jogging, and most outdoor sports.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Auburn Senior High School, Auburn, Washington, in 1957; received a bachelor of science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1965.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Tau Beta Pi, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and the Air Force Association.
AWARDS: Posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and two NASA Exceptional Service Medals.
EXPERIENCE: Scobee enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1957, trained as a reciprocating engine mechanic, and was subsequently stationed at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. While there, he attended night school and acquired 2 years of college credit which led to his selection for the Airman’s Education and Commissioning Program. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor of science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He received his commission in 1965 and, after receiving his wings in 1966, completed a number of assignments including a combat tour in Vietnam. He returned to the United States and attended the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. After graduating in 1972, he participated in test programs for which he flew such varied aircraft as the Boeing 747, the X-24B, the transonic aircraft technology (TACT) F-111, and the C-5.
He logged more than 6,500 hours flying time in 45 types of aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Lt. Col. Scobee was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, he completed a 1-year training and evaluation period, making him eligible for assignment as a pilot on future space shuttle flightcrews. In addition to astronaut duties, Scobee was an Instructor Pilot on the NASA/Boeing 747 shuttle carrier airplane.
He first flew as pilot of STS 41-C which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 6, 1984. Crew members included spacecraft commander Captain Robert L. Crippen, and three mission specialists, Terry J. Hart, Dr. G.D. (Pinky) Nelson, and Dr. J.D.A. (Ox) van Hoften. During this mission, the crew successfully deployed the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF); retrieved the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite, repaired it onboard the orbiting Challenger, and replaced it in orbit using the robot arm called the Remote Manipulator System (RMS). The mission also included flight testing of Manned Maneuvering Units (MMU’s) in two Extravehicular Activities (EVAs); operation of the Cinema 360 and IMAX Camera Systems, as well as a Bee Hive Honeycomb Structures student experiment. The mission duration was 7 days before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on April 13, 1984. With the completion of this flight, he logged a total of 168-hours in space.
Lt. Col. Scobee was spacecraft commander on STS 51-L, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 11:38:00 EST on January 28, 1986. The crew onboard the Orbiter Challenger included the pilot, M.J. Smith (U.S. Navy) (pilot), three mission specialists, Dr. R.E. McNair, Lt. Col. E.S. Onizuka (U.S. Air Force), and Dr. J.A. Resnik, as well as two civilian payload specialists, G.B. Jarvis and S.C. McAuliffe. The STS 51-L crew died on January 28, 1986 when Challenger exploded after launch.MAY 2013
Official NASA Biography:
Francis R. (Dick) Scobee was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis W. Scobee. He was born on May 19, 1939, in Cle Elum, Washington, and graduated from the public high school in Auburn, Washington, in 1957. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, training as a reciprocating engine mechanic but longing to fly. He took night courses and in 1965 completed a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. This made it possible for Scobee to receive an officer's commission and enter the Air Force pilot training program. He received his pilot's wings in 1966 and began a series of flying assignments with the Air Force, including a combat tour in Vietnam. Scobee also married June Kent of San Antonio, Texas, and they had two children, Kathie R. and Richard W., in the early 1960s. He attended the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1972 and thereafter was involved in several test programs. As an Air Force test pilot Scobee flew more than 45 types of aircraft, logging more than 6,500 hours of flight time.
In 1978 Scobee entered NASA's astronaut corps and was the pilot of STS-41-C, the fifth orbital flight of the Challenger spacecraft, launching from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 6, 1984. During this seven-day mission the crew successfully retrieved and repaired the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite and returned it to orbit. This was an enormously important mission, because it demonstrated the capability that NASA had long said existed with the Space Shuttle to repair satellites in orbit. Scobee died in the Challenger explosion.
The group was selected to provide pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. 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.. 8,079 applicants, of which half met the basic qualifications. 208 invited for physical tests and interviews. Of the 35 selected, six were women, three were male African-Americans, and one was a male Asian-American.
Manned five crew. First repair on orbit of a satellite, Solar Maximum Mission, by James van Hoften and George Nelson. Deployed LDEF. Payloads:Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) repair, manned maneuvering unit (MMU) satellite support, deployment of Long-Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) in earth orbit free drift. LDEF contained 57 experiments and weighed about 10,000 kg. Cinema 360 and IMAX 70-mm cameras.