New Mexico Museum of Space History
International Space Hall of Fame

Franklin Story Musgrave
Inducted in 1995

Photograph of Franklin Musgrave

First person to fly six missions on the space shuttle.

Franklin Story Musgrave was born on August 19, 1935, in Boston, Massachusetts, but considers Lexington, Kentucky, to be his hometown. The son of a farmer, he attended St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts but dropped out shortly before graduation. In 1953, he enrolled in Syracuse University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics there in 1958. After working as a mathematician and operations analyst for the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York Musgrave earned a Master of Business Administration Degree in Operations Analysis and Computer Programming from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1959. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Marietta College in 1960, a Doctorate in Medicine from Columbia University in 1964, a Master of Science degree in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Kentucky in 1966, and in 1987, his sixth degree, a Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Houston.

Story Musgrave entered the United States Marine Corps in 1953, serving as an aviation electrician and instrument technician, and as an aircraft crew chief while on duty in Korea, Japan, Hawaii, and aboard the carrier USS Wasp in the Far East. He has flown 17,700 hours in 160 different types of civilian and military aircraft, including 7,500 hours in jet aircraft. He has earned FAA ratings for instructor, instrument instructor, glider instructor, and airline transport pilot, and U.S. Air Force Wings. An accomplished parachutist, he has made more than 500 free falls, including over 100 experimental free-fall descents involved with the study of human aerodynamics.

Dr. Musgrave served a surgical internship at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington from 1964 to 1965, and continued there as a U. S. Air Force post-doctoral fellow until 1966, working in aerospace medicine and physiology. From 1966 to 1967, he was a National Heart Institute post-doctoral fellow, teaching and doing research in cardiovascular and exercise physiology. From 1967 to 1989, he continued clinical and scientific training as a part-time surgeon at the Denver General Hospital and as a part-time professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He has written 25 scientific papers in the areas of aerospace medicine and physiology, temperature regulation, exercise physiology, and clinical surgery.

Story Musgrave was selected to be a scientist-astronaut by NASA in August 1967. He completed astronaut academic training then worked on the design and development of the Skylab Program. In 1973, he was the backup Science-Pilot for the first Skylab mission, and was a CapCom for the second and third Skylab missions. Dr. Musgrave participated in the design and development of all Space Shuttle extravehicular activity (EVA) equipment including spacesuits, life support systems, airlocks, and manned maneuvering units. From 1979 to 1982, and again in 1983 and 1984, he was assigned as a test and verification pilot in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center.

Story Musgrave first entered space on STS-6, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida (as were all his flights), on April 4, 1983, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California, on April 9, 1983. During this maiden voyage of Space Shuttle Challenger the crew performed the first Shuttle deployment of an IUS/TDRS satellite, and Musgrave and Don Peterson conducted the first Space Shuttle EVA to test the new space suits and construction and repair devices and procedures. Mission duration was five days and 23 minutes.

On STS-51F/Spacelab-2, Musgrave was again aboard Challenger, launched on July 29, 1985. This flight was the first pallet-only Spacelab mission, and the first mission that operate the Spacelab Instrument Pointing System. It carried thirteen major experiments in astronomy, astrophysics, and life sciences. Dr. Musgrave was also the systems engineer during launch and entry, and a pilot during the orbital operations. After seven days, 22 hours, and 45 minutes, the mission ended with a landing at Edwards AFB on August 6, 1985.

Musgrave next entered space aboard STS-33 Discovery, launched at night on November 22, 1989. This classified mission operated payloads for the Department of Defense (DOD). Following 79 orbits, the mission concluded on November 27, 1989, with a landing at Edwards after a flight of five days and seven minutes.

Dr. Musgrave's fourth space mission was STS-44 Atlantis, also launched at night on November 24, 1991. The mission successfully deployed a Defense Support Program satellite with an Inertial Upper Stage rocket booster. In addition the crew conducted two Military Man in Space Experiments, three radiation-monitoring experiments, and numerous medical tests to support longer duration shuttle flights. STS-44 concluded in 110 orbits of the Earth with Atlantis returning to a landing on at Edwards on December 1, 1991 after a flight of six days, 22 hours, and 50 minutes.

STS-61 Endeavour, Musgrave's next shuttle flight, was the first Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing and repair mission, an epic accomplishment. Following a night launch on December 2, 1993, the Endeavour rendezvoused with and captured the HST. The telescope was restored to its full capabilities through the work of two pairs of astronauts during a record five spacewalks, three of which were performed by Dr. Musgrave. After traveling 4,433,772 miles in 163 orbits of the Earth, Endeavour returned to a night landing at KSC on December 13, after ten days, 19 hours, and 59 minutes.

On STS-80 (launched on November 19, 1996), Story Musgrave was aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. He helped deploy and retrieve the Wake Shield Facility (WSF) and the Orbiting Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer (ORFEUS) satellites. The free-flying WSF created a super vacuum in its wake in which to grow thin film wafers for use in semiconductors and the electronics industry. The ORFEUS instruments, mounted on the reusable Shuttle Pallet Satellite, studied the origin and makeup of stars. STS-80 made a record 278 earth orbits, and traveled over 7,000,000 miles in seventeen days, 15 hours, and 53 minutes before landing at KSC on December 7,1996. With this flight Story Musgrave became the first person to make six orbital flights in the space shuttle. He has logged a total of 53.41 days in space.

Colonel Musgrave has been honored with the National Defense Service Medal and an Outstanding Unit Citation as a member of the United States Marine Corps Squadron VMA-212 (1954); the Reese Air Force Base Commander's Trophy (1969); the American College of Surgeons I.S. Ravdin Lecture (1973); NASA's Exceptional Service Medals (1974 & 1986); the Flying Physicians Association Airman of the Year Award (1974 & 1983); six NASA Space Flight Medals (1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996); and NASA's Distinguished Service Medal (1992).

Story Musgrave quotes:

"It is humanity's destiny to explore the universe. When we start thinking and working on that cosmic level, we will transcend our parochial differences and tribal natures and when you're looking that far out, you're giving people their place in the universe, it touches people. Science is often visual, so it doesn't need translation. It's like poetry, it touches you become global creatures, solar system creatures. Then we will figure out where we fit in."

"Getting out of the comfortable path, that's what exploration is all about."

"I was not a military test pilot, but as soon as NASA expressed an interest in flying scientists and people who were not military test pilots, that was an epiphany that just came like a stroke of lightning."

"I'm such a long-term investor, I've never really let go and celebrated what I did with the Hubble telescope."

"I've already written 300 space poems. But I look upon my ultimate form as being a poetic prose. When you read it, it appears to be prose, but within the prose you have embedded the techniques of poetry."

"If we ever start communicating with living creatures from other planets, the number one priority is, how are you going to communicate information? Even between different cultures here on Earth, you get into communication problems."

"Most of our history in space has been communicated in terms of action - what people do, a chronological list of events which have transpired - as opposed to the human experience of having done those things."