Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Truly, Richard H. (1937–)





Richard Truly
American astronaut and senior NASA manager. Truly earned a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1959 and, that same year, received his commission in the United States Navy. Following flight school, he toured aboard USS Intrepid and Enterprise. From 1963 to 1965, he was a student and then instructor at the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base. In 1965, Truly became one of the first military astronauts selected to the Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory program, transferring to NASA as an astronaut in August 1969. He served as CapCom (Capsule Communicator) for all three Skylab missions in 1973 and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, as pilot for one of the two-astronaut crews that flew the 747/Space Shuttle Enterprise approach and landing test flights in 1977, and as backup pilot for STS-1, the Shuttle's first orbital test. His first spaceflight came in November 1981, as pilot of Columbia (STS-2), and second flight in August 1983 as commander of Challenger (STS-8), the first night launch and landing in the Shuttle program. Truly then temporary left to NASA to serve as the first commander of the Naval Space Command, Virginia, established Oct. 1, 1983, but came back as NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Flight on Feb. 20, 1986. In this position, he led the rebuilding of the Shuttle program following the Challenger disaster. This was highlighted by NASA's celebrated return to flight on Sep. 29, 1988, when Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on the first Shuttle mission in almost three years. After retiring from NASA, Admiral Truly returned to his alma mater as director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute.


Related category

   • ASTRONAUTS AND COSMONAUTS