William R. Pogue

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William R. Pogue
William R. Pogue.png
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Deceased
Born (1930-01-23)January 23, 1930
Okemah, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died March 3, 2014(2014-03-03) (aged 84)
Cocoa Beach, Florida, U.S.
Other names
William Reid Pogue
Other occupation
Test pilot
OBU, B.S. 1951
OSU, M.S. 1960
Rank Colonel, USAF
Time in space
84d 01h 15m
Selection 1966 NASA Group
Missions Skylab 4
Mission insignia
Skylab3-Patch.png
Retirement September 1, 1975

William Reid "Bill" Pogue (January 23, 1930 – March 3, 2014) was an American astronaut and test pilot who was also an accomplished teacher, public speaker and author.

Biography[edit]

Pogue was born on January 23, 1930, in Okemah, Oklahoma, and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex W. Pogue who lived in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Pogue was of Choctaw descent.[1] He was married with three children. He enjoyed running and playing paddleball and handball, and his hobbies included cabinet making.

Education[edit]

Pogue attended primary and secondary schools in Oklahoma and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1951 and a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from Oklahoma State University in 1960. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1974.

Flight experience[edit]

Pogue enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and received his commission in 1952. While serving with the Fifth Air Force during the Korean War, from 1953 to 1954, he completed a combat tour in fighter bombers. From 1955 to 1957, he was a member of the USAF Thunderbirds. He was a solo and a slot pilot with them.

He gained proficiency in more than 50 types and models of American and British aircraft and was qualified as a civilian flight instructor. Pogue served in the mathematics department as an assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1960 to 1963. In September 1965, he completed a two-year tour as test pilot with the British Ministry of Aviation under the USAF/RAF Exchange Program, after graduating from the Empire Test Pilots' School in Farnborough, England.

An Air Force colonel, Pogue came to the Manned Spacecraft Center from an assignment at Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he had been an instructor at the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School since October 1965.

He logged 7,200 hours of flight time, including 4,200 hours in jet aircraft and 2,017 hours in space flight.

NASA experience[edit]

Pogue was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA for the Apollo program in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 7, 11 and 14 missions. He was also scheduled as Command Module Pilot for the canceled Apollo 19 mission. Instead Pogue and Gerald Carr of Apollo 19 went to Skylab, America's first space station.

Pogue (left) and Gerald Carr disposing of trash bags during the Skylab 4 mission.
The so-called „Pogue Seiko“, a 'Seiko Automatic-Chronograph' Cal. 6139, the first automatic chronograph in space, used by W. R. Pogue on his Skylab 4 mission.[2][3]

Pogue was the pilot of Skylab 4 (third and final manned visit to the Skylab orbital workshop), launched November 16, 1973, and concluded February 8, 1974. This was the longest manned flight (84 days, 1 hour and 15 minutes) in the history of manned space exploration to date. Pogue was accompanied on the record-setting 34.5-million-mile flight by Gerald P. Carr (commander) and Dr. Edward G. Gibson (science-pilot). They successfully completed 56 experiments, 26 science demonstrations, 15 subsystem detailed objectives, and 13 student investigations during their 1,214 revolutions of the earth.

They also acquired extensive earth resources observations data using Skylab's earth resources experiment package camera and sensor array and logged 338 hours of operations of the Apollo Telescope Mount which made extensive observations of the sun's solar processes. He logged 13 hours and 31 minutes in two EVAs outside the orbital workshop.

Pogue retired from both the United States Air Force and NASA on September 1, 1975. He was self-employed as a consultant to aerospace and a producer of general interest videos on space flight.

Pogue was a member of the Air Force Association Explorers Club, American Astronautical Society and Association of Space Explorers.

Writing career[edit]

In 1991, Pogue authored the book How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space?, answering 270 common questions he received. In 1992, he co-authored The Trikon Deception, a science fiction novel, with Ben Bova.

In 2003, Pogue authored Space Trivia, published by Apogee Books. It covered the trivial questions and answers from the Project Mercury era to the Space Shuttle/International Space Station era. His autobiography, But for the Grace of God: An Autobiography of an Aviator and Astronaut, was released in January 2011 (published by Soar with Eagles).

Death[edit]

Pogue died at his Cocoa Beach, Florida home during the night of March 3, 2014 from natural causes at the age of 84.[4][5] He is survived by his third wife Tina, three children from his first marriage and four stepchildren from his second marriage.[6]

Special honors[edit]

The William R. Pogue Municipal Airport (FAA Code: OWP; ICAO Code: KOWP) in Sand Springs, Oklahoma is named in Pogue's honor.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

External links[edit]