NAME: Edward G. Gibson
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Gibson was born November 8, 1936, in Buffalo, New York.
EDUCATION: Gibson received a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Rochester in 1959, a Master of Science in engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1960, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in engineering and physics from Caltech in 1964.
EXPERIENCE: While studying at Caltech, Gibson was a research assistant in the fields of jet propulsion and physics. He was a senior research scientist with the Applied Research Laboratories of Philco Corporation at the time NASA selected him as a scientist-astronaut in June 1965.
Gibson was the Science Pilot for Skylab 4, the third flight to the Skylab space station. Commander Gerald Carr, Command Module Pilot William Pogue, and Gibson were launched on November 16, 1973 for an 84 day stay on the station. Solar physicist Gibson concentrated on operation of astronomical and solar telescopes. Gibson participated in three of the four space walks of the mission, spending a total of 15 hours 17 minutes outside Skylab, changing film in the telescope cameras and taking photos of Comet Kohoutek. The crew returned with 780 kg of film, data and biological specimens after the record space flight.
Gibson left NASA in 1974 and became a Senior Staff Scientist with the Aerospace Corporation of Los Angeles. In this position he was still involved in analysis of the Skylab solar physics data. In 1976 he served as a consultant in West Germany on the design of the Spacelab module that later flew aboard the Space Shuttle. He returned to NASA in 1977 as Chief of Scientist-Astronaut Candidates. After leaving NASA again, he worked for Booz, Allen and Hamilton, Inc, before becoming President of Casey Aerospace Corporation.
Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totalling 22 hours, 13 minutes. Increased manned space flight time record by 50%. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Biological experiments included two Mummichog fish (Fundulus heteroclitus).
The space vehicle consisted of a modified Apollo CSM and a Saturn IB launch vehicle. All launch phase events were normal, and the CSM was inserted into a 150.1- by 227.08-km orbit. The rendezvous sequence was performed according to the anticipated timeline. Stationkeeping was initiated about seven and one-half hours after liftoff, and hard docking was achieved about 30 minutes later following two unsuccessful docking attempts. Planned duration of the mission was 56 days, with the option of extending it to a maximum of 84 days.
Repaired antenna. Replaced solar camera film cartridges.
Photographed Comet Kohoutek.
Retrieved solar camera film cartridges and external materials exposure package.