[Paul J. Weitz] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Paul J. Weitz (pronounced WHITES) (Mr.)
NASA Astronaut

Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on July 25, 1932. His mother, Mrs. Violet Futrell, now resides in Norfolk, Virginia.

Silver hair; blue eyes; 5 feet 10 inches; 180 pounds.

Graduated from Harborcreek High School in Harborcreek, Pennsylvania; received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1954 and a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, in 1964.

Married to the former Suzanne M. Berry of Harborcreek, Pennsylvania.

Matthew J., September 23, 1958; Cynthia A., September 25, 1961.

Hunting and fishing are among his hobbies.

Fellow, American Astronautical Association.

Awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Astronaut Wings, Air Medal (5 awards), and Commendation Medal (for combat flights in Vietnam); the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Kitty Hawk Award (1973), the Robert J. Collier Trophy for 1973 (1974), the Pennsylvania State University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award, named a Pennsylvania State University Alumni Fellow (1974), the AIAA Haley Astronautics Award for 1974, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale's V. M. Komarov Diploma for 1973 (1974), the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy for 1975, the 1974 Harmon International Aviation Trophy for Astronaut (1975), NASA Space Flight Medal (1983), the 1984 Harmon International Award (1989).

Weitz received his commission as an Ensign through the NROTC program at Pennsylvania State University. He served for one year at sea aboard a destroyer before going to flight training and was awarded his wings in September 1956. He served in various naval squadrons until he was selected as an astronaut in 1966. He has logged more than 7,700 hours flying time -- 6,400 hours in jet aircraft.

Mr. Weitz is one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as pilot on Skylab 2 (SL-2), which launched on May 25 and ended on June 22, 1973. SL-2 was the first manned Skylab mission, and activated a 28-day flight. In logging 672 hours and 49 minutes aboard the orbital workshop, the crew established what was then a new world record for a single mission. Mr. Weitz also logged 2 hours and 11 minutes in extravehicular activities.

Mr. Weitz was spacecraft commander of STS-6, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 4, 1983. This was the maiden voyage of the Orbiter Challenger. During the mission, the crew conducted numerous experiments in materials processing; recorded lightning activities; deployed IUS/TDRS-A; and conducted spectacular extravehicular activity while testing a variety of support systems and equipment in preparation for future space walks, and also carried three "Getaway Specials". Mission duration was 120 hours before landing Challenger on a concrete runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on April 9, 1983. With the completion of this flight Paul Weitz logged a total of 793 hours in space.

CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Mr. Weitz currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center.


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