NAME: Paul J. Weitz (pronounced WHITES) (Mr.)
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on July 25, 1932. His mother, Mrs. Violet Futrell, now resides in Norfolk, Virginia.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Silver hair; blue eyes; 5 feet 10 inches; 180 pounds.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Harborcreek High School in Harborcreek, Pennsylvania; received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1954 and a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, in 1964.
MARITAL STATUS: Married to the former Suzanne M. Berry of Harborcreek, Pennsylvania.
CHILDREN: Matthew J., September 23, 1958; Cynthia A., September 25, 1961.
RECREATIONAL INTERESTS: Hunting and fishing are among his hobbies.
ORGANIZATIONS: Fellow, American Astronautical Association.
SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Astronaut Wings, Air Medal (5 awards), and Commendation Medal (for combat flights in Vietnam); the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Kitty Hawk Award (1973), the Robert J. Collier Trophy for 1973 (1974), the Pennsylvania State University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award, named a Pennsylvania State University Alumni Fellow (1974), the AIAA Haley Astronautics Award for 1974, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale's V. M. Komarov Diploma for 1973 (1974), the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy for 1975, the 1974 Harmon International Aviation Trophy for Astronaut (1975), NASA Space Flight Medal (1983), the 1984 Harmon International Award (1989).
EXPERIENCE: Weitz received his commission as an Ensign through the NROTC program at Pennsylvania State University. He served for one year at sea aboard a destroyer before going to flight training and was awarded his wings in September 1956. He served in various naval squadrons until he was selected as an astronaut in 1966. He has logged more than 7,700 hours flying time -- 6,400 hours in jet aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Mr. Weitz is one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as pilot on Skylab 2 (SL-2), which launched on May 25 and ended on June 22, 1973. SL-2 was the first manned Skylab mission, and activated a 28-day flight. In logging 672 hours and 49 minutes aboard the orbital workshop, the crew established what was then a new world record for a single mission. Mr. Weitz also logged 2 hours and 11 minutes in extravehicular activities.
Mr. Weitz was spacecraft commander of STS-6, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 4, 1983. This was the maiden voyage of the Orbiter Challenger. During the mission, the crew conducted numerous experiments in materials processing; recorded lightning activities; deployed IUS/TDRS-A; and conducted spectacular extravehicular activity while testing a variety of support systems and equipment in preparation for future space walks, and also carried three "Getaway Specials". Mission duration was 120 hours before landing Challenger on a concrete runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on April 9, 1983. With the completion of this flight Paul Weitz logged a total of 793 hours in space.
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Mr. Weitz currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center.
First and failed attempt to release jammed solar panel.
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.
Replacement of film cartridges for solar camera.
Apollo 20 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in Crater Copernicus, a spectacular large crater impact area. Later Copernicus was assigned to Apollo 19, and the preferred landing site for Apollo 20 was the Marius Hills, or, if the operational constraints were relaxed, the bright crater Tycho. The planned December 1972 flight was cancelled on January 4, 1970, before any crew assignments were made. Work was stopped on LM-14; CSM-115A was studied for use on a second Skylab mission; Saturn V 515 was earmarked for use on Skylab. The remaining Apollo missions were stretched out to six-month intervals, which would have placed the Apollo 20 flight in 1974 had it not been cancelled. No crew was formally selected, but in the normal three-mission-ahead crew rotation, and with the assignments at that time, the Conrad crew would have been named. Instead they were transferred to the Skylab program. At one time it was considered possible that Mitchell would command the crew in place of Conrad. But it has also been stated that since both Conrad and Mitchell had been on the lunar surface, Stuart Roosa would have been commander. Astronaut Lind was considered by Slayton as next in line for a chance to land as lunar module pilot, but not until the never-funded Apollo 21.
Manned four crew. First flight of space shuttle Challenger; deployed TDRSS. Payloads: Deployment of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-A with Inertial Upper Stage (lUS)-2, Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Night/Day Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL) experiment, three getaway specials (GAS).