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astronautix.com Fullerton


Charles Gordon Fullerton Status: Inactive. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two. Birth Date: 11 October 1936. Birth City: Rochester. Birth State: New York. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1966 USAF MOL Group 2. Date Selected: 30 June 1966. Date Departed: 30 September 1986. Number of Flights: 2. Total Time: 15.95 days.

Born October 11, 1936, in Rochester, New York. Bachelor and master of science in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology. Flew Space Shuttle approach and landing tests 1, 3 and 5; STS-3 and STS 51-F. Cumulative hours of space flight are more than 382. Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Retired) Born in New York.


NASA Official Biography

C. Gordon Fullerton is a research pilot at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. His assignments include a variety of flight research and support activities piloting NASA's B-52 launch aircraft, the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), and other multi-engine and high performance aircraft.

Fullerton, who logged more than 380 hours in space flight, was a NASA astronaut from September 1969 until November 1986 when he joined the research pilot office at Dryden. In July 1988, he completed a 30-year career with the U.S. Air Force and retired as a Colonel. He continues in his position of research pilot as a civilian.

Fullerton was project pilot on the NASA/Convair 990 aircraft which has been modified as a Landing Systems Research Aircraft to test space shuttle landing gear components. He is also the project pilot on the F-18 Systems Research Aircraft, a testbed to develop new flight control actuators, fiber optic control systems, and other advanced aircraft technology.

As project pilot on the B-52 launch aircraft, Fullerton was involved in six air launches of the commercially developed Pegasus space vehicle.

Fullerton is the project pilot on the Propulsion Controlled Aircraft program, and has successfully landed both a modified F-15 and an MD-11 transport with all control surfaces fixed, using only engine thrust modulation for control.

In addition to these current activities, Fullerton has been project pilot on a number of other research programs at Dryden. Among them are the C-140 Jetstar Laminar Flow Control; F-111 Mission Adaptive Wing; F-14 Variable Sweep Flow Transition; Space Shuttle drag chute and F-111 crew module parachute tests with the B-52; and X-29 vortex flow control.

With over 13,800 hours of flying time, Fullerton has piloted 115 different types of aircraft, including full qualification in the T-33, T-34, T-37, T-38, T-39, F-86, F-101, F-104, F-106, F-111, F-14, F-15, F-18, X-29, KC-135, C-140, B-47, B-52 and DC-8.

Since joining Dryden as a research pilot, Fullerton has piloted nearly all the research and support aircraft flown at the facility and currently flies the F-18, B-52, the NASA/Convair 990, and the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

Born Oct. 11, 1936, in Rochester, N. Y., Fullerton graduated from U.S. Grant High School, Portland, Ore. He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., in 1957 and l958, respectively.

Fullerton entered the U. S. Air Force in July 1958 after working as a mechanical design engineer for Hughes Aircraft Co., Culver City, Calif.

After primary and basic flight school, he was trained as an F-86 interceptor pilot, and later became a B-47 bomber pilot at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. In 1964 he was chosen to attend the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School (now the Air Force Test Pilot School), Edwards AFB, Calif. Upon graduation he was assigned as a test pilot with the Bomber Operations Division at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In 1966 Fullerton was selected for and served as a flight crew member for the Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory program until its termination in 1969.

After assignment to the NASA Johnson Space Center, as an astronaut Fullerton served on the support crews for the Apollo 14, 15, 16, and 17 lunar missions.

In 1977, Fullerton was assigned to one of the two two-man flight crews which piloted the Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise during the Approach and Landing Test Program at Dryden that same year.

Fullerton was the pilot on the eight-day STS-3 Space Shuttle orbital flight test mission Mar. 22-30, 1982. Launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the mission exposed the orbiter Columbia to extremes in thermal stress and tested the 50-foot Remote Manipulator System used to grapple and maneuver payloads in orbit. STS-3 landed at Northrup Strip, White Sands, N.Mex. because Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards AFB was wet due to heavy seasonal rains.

Fullerton was commander of the STS-51F Spacelab 2 mission, launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on July 29, 1985. This mission, with the orbiter Challenger, was the first pallet-only Spacelab mission and the first to operate the Spacelab Instrument Pointing System (IPS). It carried 13 major experiments in the fields of astronomy, solar physics, ionospheric science, life science, and a super fluid helium experiment. The mission ended August 6, 1985, with a landing at Dryden.

Among the special awards and honors Fullerton has received are the Iven C. Kincheloe Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in 1978; Department of Defense Distinguished Service and Superior Service Medals; Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross; NASA Distinguished and Exceptional Service Medals; NASA Space Flight Medals in 1983 and 1985; General Thomas D. White Space Trophy; Haley Space Flight Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Awards for 1977, 1981, and 1985; the Certificate of Achievement Award from the Soaring Society of America, and the Ray E. Tenhoff Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in 1992 and 1993.

Fullerton, inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1982, is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; member, Tau Beta Pi; honorary member of the National World War II Glider Pilot Association; and a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society.


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