Lachlan Macleay

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Lachlan Macleay
Col. Lachlan Macleay 1960s.jpg
USAF Astronaut
Nationality American
Status Retired
Born (1931-06-13) June 13, 1931 (age 85)
Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Other occupation
Test pilot
USNA, B.S. 1954
University of Southern California, MBA 1970
Rank US Air Force O6 shoulderboard rotated.svg Colonel, USAF
Selection 1965 USAF MOL Group 1
Missions None

Lachlan "Mac" Macleay (born June 13, 1931) is a retired colonel in the United States Air Force and a former USAF astronaut. Although he trained for the USAF Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL), the program was cancelled before any of the MOL crews reached space.[1]

Macleay was born in Saint Louis, Missouri and graduated in 1954 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Although a USNA graduate, he chose to begin his career in the United States Air Force. In 1970, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California.[2]

Macleay was a flight instructor in the F-86D at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.[2] He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School in Class 60A, Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS) Class IV, and MOL.[3] In 1965, Macleay was selected as one of the first astronauts to the Air Force's classified Manned Orbital Laboratory.[2] The MOL program, canceled in 1969 before sending any astronauts into space, was to man a military space station with Air Force astronauts using a modified Gemini spacecraft.[4]

Macleay continued flying for the Air Force and served a combat tour as commander of the 23d Tactical Air Support Squadron (TASS) at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. The 23d TASS, flying the OV-10 Bronco under the callsign Nail, served as forward air controllers directing air strikes against enemy troops.[5]

Macleay retired from the Air Force on May 1, 1978 and joined Hughes Aircraft in Tucson, Arizona where he worked on a series of missile systems. He currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[2]

The history of the MOL program was presented in the Public Television series NOVA episode called Astrospies which aired February 12, 2008.[6] Several of the MOL astronauts, including Lachlan Macleay, were interviewed for this documentary.[7]


  1. ^ "Space and Missile Systems Center History" (PDF). USAF. 2006-09-12. pp. 60–62. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Astrospies Macleay biography". NOVA. PBS. December 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  3. ^ USAF Test Pilot School 50 Years and Beyond. Privately Published. 1994. p. 246. 
  4. ^ Nutter, Ashley (2008-06-02). "Suits for Space Spies". NASA. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  5. ^ Whitcomb, Darrel D. (1998). The Rescue of Bat 21. Naval Institute Press. p. 11. ISBN 1557509468. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Astrospies". NOVA. PBS. December 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  7. ^ "Astrospies transcripts". NOVA. PBS. December 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 

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