Russell Louis Schweickart
(1935 – )
Missions: Apollo 9
Time in Space: 241 hours
NASA astronaut Russell Louis “Rusty” Schweickart was born on October 25, 1935, in Neptune Township, New Jersey. He studied aeronautical engineering and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in 1956 and 1963, respectively. He also served as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force and the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
Schweickart began his career with NASA in October 1963 when he was selected to join the third group of astronauts. On March 3, 1969, he embarked on his first and only space mission: Apollo 9, the first mission to complete an earth-orbital qualification and verification test of all Apollo spacecraft and flight operations necessary for a lunar landing. As Lunar Module Pilot, Schweickart conducted the first manned flight of the module as well as performed the first extravehicular activity of the Apollo program. In total, he logged 241 hours in space, of which 46 minutes were spent in extravehicular activity.
Schweickart left NASA in 1977 to join the staff of Governor Jerry Brown of California. In 1985, he co-founded the Association of Space Explorers. In 2002, Schweickart also helped to establish the B612 Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to protect Earth from future asteroid impacts.