Official NASA Biography - 1997
NAME: Joseph P. Allen (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut (former)
PERSONAL DATA: Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, on June 27, 1937. Married to the former Bonnie Jo Darling of Elkhart, Indiana. They have a son and a daughter. Recreational interests include handball, squash, flying, sailing, skiing, music, and photography. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Allen III, reside in Frankfort, Indiana. Her mother, Mrs. W. C. Darling, resides in Elkhart, Indiana.
EDUCATION: Attended Mills School and is a graduate of Crawfordsville High School in Indiana; received a bachelor of arts degree in math-physics from DePauw University in 1959, and a master of science degree and a doctor of philosophy degree in physics from Yale University in 1961 and 1965, respectively.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the American Physical Society, the American Astronautical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Xi, and Phi Eta Sigma.
SPECIAL HONORS: Winner of a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany (1959-1960), the Outstanding Flying Award, Class 69-06, Vance Air Force Base (1969), two NASA Group Achievement Awards (1971and 1974) in recognition of contributions to the Apollo 15 Lunar Traverse Planning Team and for subsequent work on the Outlook for Space Study Team; presented the 1972 Yale Science and Engineering Association Award for Advancement of Basic and Applied Science, the DePauw University Distinguished Alumnus Award (1972), a NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1973), a NASA exceptional Service Medal (1978), and a NASA Superior Performance Award (1975 and 1981), and honorary doctor of science from DePauw University (1983), and the Komarov Diploma from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale
EXPERIENCE: Allen was a research associate in the
Nuclear Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington prior to his
selection as an astronaut. He was a staff physicist at the Nuclear Structure
Laboratory at Yale University in 1965 and 1966, and during the period 1963 to
1967, served as a guest research associate at the Brookhaven National
He has logged more than 3,000 hours flying time in jet aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Dr. Allen was selected as a
scientist-astronaut by NASA in August 1967. He completed flight training at
Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. He served as mission scientist while a member of
the astronaut support crew for Apollo 15 and served as a staff consultant on
science and technology to the President's Council on International Economic
From August 1975 to 1978, Dr. Allen served as NASA Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C. Returning to the Johnson Space Center in 1978, as a senior scientist astronaut, Dr. Allen was assigned to the Operations Mission Development Group. He served as a support crew member for the first orbital flight test of the Space Transportation System and was the entry CAPCOM for this mission. In addition, in 1980 and 1981, he worked as the technical assistant to the director of flight operations. He was a mission specialist on STS-5 (November 11-16, 1982) and STS-51A (November 8-16,1984) and has logged a total of 314 hours in space. He left NASA in 1985.
Dr. Allen is currently Chief Executive Officer of Space Industries International, Inc., 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 1111, Washington, D.C. 20006.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-5 was the first fully
operational flight of the Shuttle Transportation System, which launched from
Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 11, 1982. The crew aboard Columbia
included Vance D. Brand (spacecraft commander), Col. Robert F. Overmyer (pilot),
and Dr. William B. Lenoir (mission specialist). STS-5, the first mission with a
crew of four, clearly demonstrated the Space Shuttle as fully operational by the
successful first deployment of two commercial communications satellites from the
Orbiter's payload bay. The mission also marked the first use of the Payload
Assist Module (PAM-D), and its new ejection system. Numerous flight tests were
performed throughout the mission to document Shuttle performance during launch,
boost, orbit, atmospheric entry and landing phases. STS-5 was the last flight to
carry the Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) package to support flight
testing. A Getaway Special, three Student Involvement Projects, and medical
experiments were included on the mission. The crew successfully concluded the
5-day orbital flight of Columbia with the first entry and landing through a
cloud deck to a hard-surface runway and demonstrated maximum braking. STS-5
completed 81 orbits of the Earth in 122 hours before landing on a concrete
runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on November 16, 1982.
STS-51A Discovery , which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 8, 1984. The crew aboard Discovery included Captain Frederick (Rick) Hauck (spacecraft commander), Captain David M. Walker (pilot), and fellow mission specialists, Dr. Anna L. Fisher and Commander Dale H. Gardner. This was the second flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. During the mission the crew deployed two satellites, Canada's Anik D-2 (Telsat H) and Hughes' LEASAT-1 (Syncome IV-1), and operated the 3M Company's Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions experiment. In the first space salvage attempt in history the crew successfully retrieved for return to Earth the Palapa B-2 and Westar VI communications satellites. STS-51A completed 127 orbits of the Earth in 192 hours before landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 16, 1984.
Apollo 18 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in the moon's Schroter's Valley, a riverlike channel-way. The original February 1972 landing date was extended when NASA cancelled the Apollo 20 mission in January 1970. Later in the planning process the most likely landing site was the crater Gassendi. Finally NASA cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 on 2 September 1970 because of congressional cuts in FY 1971 NASA appropriations. There was also a feeling after the Apollo 13 emergency that NASA risked having its entire manned space program cancelled if a crew was lost on another Apollo mission. Total savings of cancelling the two missions (since the hardware was already built and the NASA staff had to stay in place for the Skylab program) was only $42.1 million. Before the cancellation, Schmitt was pressing for a more ambitious landing in Tycho or the lunar farside. Pressure from the scientific community resulted in geologist Schmitt flying on Apollo 17, the last lunar mission, bumping Joe Engle from the lunar module pilot slot.
Manned four crew. First mission to deploy commercial communications satellites (SBS 3, Anik C3). Payloads: : Satellite Business Systems (SBS)-C with Payload Assist ; (PAM)-D; Telesat-E (Canadian communications satellite) with PAM-D. Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), three getaway specials (GAS), Student experiments, GLOW experiment, Vestibular experiment, Oxygen Interaction With Materials experiment.
Planned Department of Defense or TDRS deployment shuttle mission. Cancelled due to IUS failure.
Manned five crew. First retrieval of two satellites (PALAPA B-2 and WESTAR Vl) for return to earth. Deployed Anik D2, Leasat 2; recovered Westar 6, Palapa B2. Payloads: Telesat (Canada communications satellite)-H with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D deploy-ment, Syncom IV-1 communications satellite deployment with its unique stage, retrieval of PALAPA B-2 and WESTAR VI communications satellites with PAM-D which failed to ignite on the STS-41-B mission. Manned maneuvering unit (MMU) used for retrieval. Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS) experiment.
Retrieved Palapa satellite.
Retrieved Westar satellite.