William R. Pogue : biography
William Reid Pogue (born January 23, 1930) is a retired American astronaut who is also an accomplished teacher, public speaker, and author.
Pogue was born in Okemah, Oklahoma, and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex W. Pogue who lived in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Pogue is of Choctaw descent. He is married with three children. He enjoys running and playing paddleball and handball, and his hobbies include cabinet making.
Pogue attended primary and secondary schools in Oklahoma and received a bachelor of science degree in 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.
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 has 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 has logged 7,200 hours flight time—including 4,200 hours in jet aircraft and 2,017 hours in space flight.
Pogue was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA 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 was 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 the United States Air Force on September 1, 1975, and he is now retired from NASA. He is self-employed as a consultant to aerospace and producer of general interest videos on space flight.
Pogue is a member of the Air Force Association Explorers Club, American Astronautical Society, and Association of Space Explorers.
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 published Space Trivia with 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).
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