Fred W. Haise Jr.
Fred W. Haise Jr. was a research pilot and an astronaut for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 1959 to 1979. He began flying at the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio (today the Glenn Research Center), in 1959. He became a research pilot at the NASA Flight Research Center (FRC), Edwards, Calif., in 1963, serving NASA in that position for three years until being selected to be an astronaut in 1966.
His best-known assignment at the FRC (later redesignated the Dryden Flight Research Center) was as a lifting body pilot. Shortly after flying the M2-F1 on a car tow to about 25 feet on April 22, 1966, he was assigned as an astronaut to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. While at the FRC he had also flown a variety of other research and support aircraft, including the variable-stability T-33A to simulate the M2-F2 heavyweight lifting body, some light aircraft including the Piper PA-30 to evaluate their handling qualities, the Apache helicopter, the Aero Commander, the Cessna 310, the Douglas F5D, the Lockheed F-104 and T-33, the Cessna T-37, and the Douglas C-47.
After becoming an astronaut, Haise served as a backup crewmember for the Apollo 8, 11, and 16 missions. He flew on the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970, spending 142 hours and 54 minutes in space before returning safely to Earth. In 1977, he was the commander of three free flights of the Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise when it flew its Approach and Landing Tests at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Meanwhile, from April 1973 to January 1976, Haise served as the Technical Assistant to the Manager of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Project. In 1979, he left NASA to become the Vice President for Space Programs with the Grumman Aerospace Corporation. He then served as President of Grumman Technical Services, an operating division of Northrop Grumman Corporation, from January 1992 until his retirement.
Haise was born in Biloxi, Miss., on November 14, 1933. He underwent flight training with the U.S. Navy, completing that in 1954 and becoming a fighter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1954 to 1956. He also served as a tactical fighter pilot with the U.S. Air Force from October 1961 to August 1962. Meanwhile, he graduated with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1959. Later, he graduated from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in 1964 as its outstanding graduate. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
Among his awards are the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Haley Astronautics Award, the General Thomas D. White Space Trophy, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the NASA Special Achievement Award.