NAME: Robert C. Springer (Colonel, USMC)
Although born in St. Louis, he considers Ashland, Ohio, his hometown. Springer is a member of the astronaut class of 1980 and at 46, he made his first space flight on STS-29 as mission specialist two (MS-2).
He has worked in the Mission Control Center as a CAPCOM for seven flights and was responsible for Astronaut Office coordination of design requirements reviews and design certification reviews, part of the total recertification and reverification of the National Space Transportation System prior to STS-26's return to flight.
Springer earned a B.S. degree in naval science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1964 and a M.S. in operations research and systems analysis from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1971.
After receiving a USMC commission, Springer received his aviator wings in August 1966 and was assigned to VMFA-513 at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, N.C., where he flew F-4 aircraft. He then served in Southeast Asia where he flew F-4s and completed 300 combat missions. In June 1968, Springer served as an advisor to the Republic of Korea Marine Corps in Vietnam and flew 250 combat missions in 01 "Bird Dogs" and UH1 "Huey" helicopters.
Springer attended Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and in 1975 graduated from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Md. He has served as a test pilot for more than 20 different fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and performed the first flights in the AHIT helicopter. Springer has logged more than 3,500 hours flying time, including 3,000 hours in jet aircraft.
Planned shuttle mission for deployment of commercial communications satellites. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
Manned five crew. Deployed TDRS 4. Payloads: Deploy IUS (Inertial Upper Stage) with Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-D. Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Chromosome and Plant Cell Division in Space; IMAX 70mm camera; Shuttle Student Involvement Project (SSIP) experiments: SSIP 82-8, Effects of Weightlessness in Space Flight on the Healing of Bone Fractures, and SSIP 83-9, Chicken Embryo Development in Space; Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.
Manned five crew. Deployed a classified payload. Orbits of Earth: 79. Landed at: Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing Speed: 359 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 430.00 m. Landing Rollout: 2,712.00 m. Payloads: DoD Mission.