David R. Scott (Colonel, USAF, Ret.)
NASA Astronaut (former)
David R. Scott
Image Credit: NASA
David Scott began his professional career after graduating fifth in a class off 633 at West Point in 1954.
He completed pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, in 1955 and then reported
for gunnery training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.
He was assigned to the 32d Tactical Fighter squadron at Soesterberg Air Base (RNAF), Netherlands, from April 1956 to July 1960.
Stationed at Soesterberg AB / Camp New Amsterdam Scott flow the F-86 Sabre and F-100c Super Sabre (# 034 - CC - Behnke) for the 32nd Wolfhounds.
32nd Wolfhounds F-100c, #034, flown by David R. Scott, Crew Chief G. Behnke
Upon completing this tour of duty, he returned to the United States for study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He then earned two graduate degrees at MIT, followed by completing the Air Force Test Pilot School.
Scott was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in October 1963.
On March 16, 1966, he and command pilot Neil Armstrong were launched into space on
the Gemini 8 mission--a flight originally scheduled to last three days but terminated
early due to a malfunctioning thruster.
The crew performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space and
demonstrated great piloting skill in overcoming the thruster problem and
bringing the spacecraft to a safe landing.
David R. Scott and Neil Armstrong
Image Credit: NASA
His space flight was with Gemini 8, with Neil Armstrong as commander.
They performed the first docking in space, with an Agena target satellite.
Less than an hour later their spacecraft began an unplanned rolling motion.
After undocking, it increased to one revolution per second.
One of the Gemini's 16 thrusters had stuck open because of an electrical short circuit.
They used re-entry thrusters to control the capsule, and after a 30-minute struggle, it was stabilized.
Flight rules required a return to Earth after use of the re-entry thrusters,
so the crewmembers fired retrorockets that sent Gemini 8 to a contingency landing zone in the Western Pacific.
The eventful flight on March 16, 1966, had taken just over 10 hours, 41 minutes
Scott served as command module pilot for Apollo 9, March 3-13, 1969.
This was the third manned flight in the Apollo series,
the second to be launched by a Saturn V,
and the first to complete a comprehensive earth-orbital
qualification and verification test of a "fully configured Apollo spacecraft."
The ten-day flight provided vital information previously not available on the operational performance, stability, and reliability of lunar module propulsion and life support systems.
Highlight of this evaluation was completion of a critical lunar-orbit rendezvous
simulation and subsequent docking, initiated by James McDivitt and Russell Schweickart
from within the lunar module at a separation distance which exceeded 100 miles from the command/service module piloted by Scott.
The crew also demonstrated and confirmed the operational feasibility of crew transfer and extravehicular activity techniques and equipment, with Schweickart completing a 46-minute EVA outside the lunar module.
During this period, Dave Scott completed a 1-hour stand-up EVA in the open command module hatch photographing Schweickart's activities and also retrieving thermal samples from the command module exterior.
The docked Apollo 9 command and service modules and lunar module conduct the first docking maneuvers in space.
his image was taken on the fourth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission by lunar module pilot Russell L. Schweickart of David Scott,
command module pilot, in the open hatch of the command module.
Image Credit: NASA
Apollo 9 splashed down less than four miles from the helicopter carrier USS GUADALCANAL.
In his next assignment, Scott was designated backup spacecraft commander for Apollo 12.
He made his third space flight as spacecraft commander of Apollo 15, July 26 - August 7, 1971.
His companions on the flight were Alfred M. Worden (command module pilot) and James B. Irwin (lunar module pilot).
Apollo 15 was the fourth manned lunar landing mission and the first to visit and explore the moon's Hadley Rille
and Apennine Mountains which are located on the southeast edge of the Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains).
The lunar module, "Falcon," remained on the lunar surface for 66 hours and 54 minutes
(setting a new record for lunar surface stay time) and
Scott and Irwin logged 18 hours and 35 minutes each in extravehicular activities conducted during three separate
excursions onto the lunar surface.
David Scott driving OFF Road
Image Credit: NASA
Using "Rover-1" to transport themselves and their equipment along portions of Hadley Rille and the Apennine Mountains,
Scott and Irwin performed a selenological inspection and survey of the area and collected 180 pounds of lunar surface materials.
They deployed an ALSEP package which involved the emplacement and activation of surface experiments,
and their lunar surface activities were televised using a TV camera which was operated remotely by ground controllers
stationed in the mission control center located at Houston, Texas.
Other Apollo 15 achievements include: largest payloads ever placed into earth and lunar orbits;
first scientific instrument module bay flown and operated on an Apollo spacecraft;
longest distance traversed on lunar surface;
first use of a lunar surface navigation device (mounted on Rover-1); first subsatellite launched in lunar orbit;
and first extravehicular (EVA) from a command module during transearth coast.
The latter feat performed by Worden during three excursions to "Endeavour's" SIM-bay where he retrieved film cassettes
from the panoramic and mapping cameras and reported his personal observations of the general condition of equipment housed there.
Apollo 15 concluded with a Pacific Ocean splashdown and subsequent recovery by the USS OKINAWA.
He has logged 546 hours and 54 minutes in space, of which 20 hours and 46 minutes were in Extravehicular Activity..
In 2009 David won the "The Engineers' Council
Brig. Gen. Charles E. Yeager International Aeronautical Achievements Award"
Scott has logged more than 5,600 hours flying time in 25 types of aircraft, helicopters and spacecraft, including 546 hours and 54 minutes in space that included over 20 hours of Extravehicular Activity during five separate EVA excursions.
He is only one of three Astronauts who have flown both earth orbital and lunar Apollo Missions
He is also the holder of 15 patents in the U.S., Europe and Japan, covering inventions in the areas of spaceflight operations and robotic planetary exploration.