Joseph P. Allen

Born on June 27, 1937, in Crawfordsville, Indiana
BA in mathematics and physics from DePauw University
MS of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Physics from Yale University.

About the Man

Allen was a research associate in the Nuclear Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington prior to his selection as an astronaut. He was a staff physicist at the Nuclear Structure Laboratory at Yale University in 1965 and 1966, and during the period 1963 to 1967, served as a guest research associate at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

He has logged more than 3,000 hours flying time in jet aircraft.

Dr. Allen was selected as a scientist-astronaut by NASA in August 1967. He completed flight training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. He served as mission scientist while a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 15 and served as a staff consultant on science and technology to the President's Council on International Economic Policy.

From August 1975 to 1978, Dr. Allen served as NASA Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C. Returning to the Johnson Space Center in 1978, as a senior scientist astronaut, Dr. Allen was assigned to the Operations Mission Development Group. He served as a support crew member for the first orbital flight test of the Space Transportation System and was the entry CAPCOM for this mission. In addition, in 1980 and 1981, he worked as the technical assistant to the director of flight operations.

About the Spaceflights


November 11-16, 1982

The STS 5 crew consisted of Vance D. Brand, Commander; Robert F. Overmyer, Pilot; Joseph P. Allen, Mission Specialist, and William B. Lenoir, Mission Specialist

The crew of STS 5 deployed two commercial communications satellites, each equipped with Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) solid rocket motor, which fired about 45 minutes after deployment, placing each satellite into highly elliptical orbit. They also conducted One Get Away Special and three Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiments.

Allen ready for launch of STS-5

Lenoir and Allen in front of open hatch

Allen on flight deck taking photographs of the earth

Allen experiments with beverage on middeck

Allen conducts Vestibular Study Experiment on middeck

Allen readies MS Lenoir for Vestibular Study Experiment on middeck

View of open payload bay from the aft flight deck

Satellite deployment during STS-5

STS 5 Flight Duration: Five days, two hours, 14 minutes 26 seconds


November 8-16,1984

Canadian communications satellite TELESAT-H (ANIK), attached to Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D), deployed into geosynchronous orbit on flight day two.

On third day, defense communications satellite SYNCOM IV-I (also known as LEASAT-1) deployed.

Spaceflight crewmembersAllen and Gardner, wearing jet-propelled manned maneuvering units, retrieved two malfunctioning satellites: PALAPA-B2 and WESTAR-VI, both deployed on Mission 41-B.

Fisher operated remote manipulator system, grappling satellites and depositing them in payload bay. Middeck payloads: Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS), and Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME).

Astronauts Gardner and Allen bringing Westar VI satellite into payload bay

Joseph Allen rides cherry picker over stowage area/work station

Astronauts Gardner and Allen bringing Westar VI satellite into payload bay

Astronauts Gardner and Allen during loading of Palapa B-2 in payload bay

STS-51-A Flight Duration: 7 days, 23 hours, 44 minutes, 56 seconds.

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The Original Seven
Honoring America's First Astronauts

NASA's 2nd Group of Astronauts
A Second Group is Chosen

NASA's 3rd Group of Astronauts
Another Group Is Needed

NASA's 4th Group of Astronauts
Eureka! NASA finds its 4th group!

NASA's 5th Group of Astronauts
Pilot Astronauts

NASA's 6th Group of Astronauts
Scientist Astronauts