SYNOPSIS: The pilot for Skylab Four is William R. Pogue, 43, formerly a combat pilot?
SYNOPSIS: The pilot for Skylab Four is William R. Pogue, 43, formerly a combat pilot and member of the precision-flying Thunderbirds of the United States Air Force.
A veteran of 4400 hours flying time, Astronaut Pogue flew 43 Air Force combat missions in Korea. From 1955 to 1956, he flew with the Thunderbirds. He holds the Air Force rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Once assigned to the British Ministry of Aviation as a test pilot, Pogue is proficient with more than 50 American and British aircraft.
Holder of a Master's degree in mathematics from Oklahoma State University, Astronaut Pogue has instructed at the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School and also has taught mathematics at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Since being named an astronaut in 1966, Colonel Pogue has served as a member of the support crews for the missions of Apollo Seven, Eleven and Fourteen.
Here he practices docking of the lunar module with the Apollo Command/Service Module.
Astronaut Pogue also took his turn at simulated moon walking...
...and he experienced the effects of high-G forces in the centrifuge.
For his work in the space program, Astronaut Pogue was presented with the Johnson Space Centre's Superior Achievement Award it 1970 for helping to validate new flight procedures that contributed to the safe return of the Apollo 13 astronauts.
The Okemah, Oklahoma, native has spent hundreds of hours training for the final Skylab mission...a scheduled 56-day flight and the last of three missions that have been hailed as man's most ambitious and rewarding venture into space.
Scores of experiments and demonstrations to be performed in the orbiting laboratory must be carefully rehearsed many times prior to launch.
After seven years of intense astronaut training, combined with 15 years of prior Air Force experience, Colonel Bill Pogue is ready for the important flight of Skylab Four.