[Manley Carter] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Manley Lanier "Sonny" Carter, Jr. (Captain, USN) NASA Astronaut
NASA Astronaut

Born: Born August 15, 1947, in Macon, Georgia, but considers Warner Robins, Georgia, to be his hometown. His father, Manley L. Carter, Sr., resides in Warner Robins, Georgia. His mother, Elizabeth C. Carter, is deceased

Brown hair; blue eyes; height: 6 feet 1/2 inch; weight: 165 pounds.

Graduated from Lanier High School, Macon, Georgia, in 1965; received a bachelor of arts degree in Chemistry from Emory University in 1969, and a doctorate of Medicine from Emory University in 1973.

Married to the former Dana Powell of Jacksonville, Florida.

Olivia Elizabeth, May 27, 1974; Meredith Corvette, December 3, 1976.

Enjoys wrestling, golf, tennis, L.A. Dodger baseball, and old movies. Carter was a professional soccer player from 1970-73 for the Atlanta Chiefs of the NASL.

Member of the Society of U.S. Navy Flight Surgeons, Alpha Omega Alpha, Sigma Delta Psi, Alpha Tau Omega, and the Tailhook Association.

Recipient of the Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Stephen Decatur Award 1981 (USNL), Marine Corps Aviation Association Special Category Award 1982, and NASA Meritorious Service Medal 1988.

Carter graduated from medical school in June 1973 and completed a straight internal medicine internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. In July 1974, he entered the U.S. Navy and completed flight surgeon school in Pensacola, Florida. After serving tours as a flight surgeon with the 1st and 3rd Marine Air Wings, he returned to flight training in Beeville, Texas, and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1978. He was assigned as the senior medical officer of USS Forrestal, and in March 1979 completed F-4 training at VMFAT101 Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona. He was subsequently reassigned as a fighter pilot to duty flying F-4 phantoms with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 333 at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. In 1981 he completed a nine-month Mediterranean cruise aboard USS Forrestal with VMFA-115. In September 1982, he attended U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and then served as 2nd Marine Air Wing standardization officer and F-4 combat readiness evaluator at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. He then attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, graduating in June 1984.

He has logged 2,400 flying hours and 160 carrier landings.

Selected by NASA in May 1984, Carter became an astronaut in June 1985. He qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. Carter was assigned as Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Representative for the Mission Development Branch of the Astronaut Office when selected to the crew of STS-33. The STS-33 crew launched at night from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 22, 1989, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission carried Department of Defense payloads and other secondary payloads. After 79 orbits of the earth, this five-day mission concluded on November 27,1989 with a hard surface landing on Runway 4 at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

With the completion of his first mission, Carter has logged 120 hours in space.

Captain Carter is assigned as a mission specialist on the crew of STS-42, the first International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-1).

Captain Carter died in a commercial airplane crash April 5, 1991. Senator John Tower also died in the same crash.


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