Karl G. Henize


October 17, 1926 - October 5, 1993

Born October 17, 1926, in Cincinnati, Ohio
BA in mathematics from University of Virginia
MA in astronomy from University of Virginia
Doctorate of Philosophy in astronomy from University of Michigan.

About the Man

Henize was an observer for the University of Michigan Observatory from 1948 to 1951, stationed at the Lamont-Hussey Observatory in Bloemfontein, Union of South Africa. While there he conducted an objective-prism spectroscopic survey of the southern sky for stars and nebulae showing emission lines of hydrogen.

In 1954 he became a Carnegie post-doctoral fellow at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California, and conducted spectroscopic and photometric studies of emission-line stars and nebulae. From 1956 to 1959 he served as a senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He was in charge of photographic satellite tracking stations for the satellite tracking program and responsible for the establishment and operation of a global network of 12 stations for photographic tracking of artificial earth satellites.

Dr. Henize was appointed associate professor in Northwestern University’s Department of Astronomy in 1959 and was awarded a professorship in 1964. In addition to teaching, he conducted research on planetary nebulae, peculiar emission-line stars, S-stars, and T-associations. During 1961 and 1962, he was a guest observer at Mt. Stromlo Observatory in Canberra, Australia, where he used instruments ranging from the Uppsala 20/26-inch schmidt to the 74-inch parabolic reflector.

Henize also engaged in studies of ultraviolet optical systems and astronomical programs suited to the manned space flight program. He became principal investigator of experiment S-013 which obtained ultraviolet stellar spectra during the Gemini 10, 11, and 12 flights. He also became principal investigator of experiment S-019 in which a 6-inch aperture objective-prism spectrograph was used on Skylab to obtain ultraviolet spectra of faint stars.

From 1974 to 1978 Dr. Henize chaired the NASA Facility Definition Team for STARLAB, a proposed 1-meter UV telescope for Spacelab. From 1978 to 1980 he chaired the NASA Working Group for the Spacelab Wide-Angle Telescope. Since 1979 he has been the chairman of the International Astronomical Union Working Group for Space Schmidt Surveys and continues to be one of the leaders in proposing the use of a 1-meter all-reflecting Schmidt telescope to carry out a deep full-sky survey in far-ultraviolet wavelengths.

He authored and/or co-authored 70 scientific publications dealing with astronomy research.

NASA selected Dr. Henize as a scientist-astronaut by NASA in August of 1967.

About the Spaceflight

STS 51-F (Spacelab-2)

July 29 - August 6, 1985

This mission was the first pallet-only Spacelab mission and the first mission to operate the Spacelab Instrument Pointing System (IPS).

It carried 13 major experiments of which 7 were in the field of astronomy and solar physics, 3 were for studies of the Earth's ionosphere, 2 were life science experiments, and 1 studied the properties of superfluid helium.

During the flight, Dr. England was responsible for activating and operating the Spacelab systems, operating the Instrument Pointing System (IPS), and the Remote Manipulator System (RMS), assisting with experiment operations, and performing a contingency EVA had one been necessary. After 126 orbits of the earth, STS 51-F Challenger landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on August 6, 1985.

With the completion of this flight Henize logged 188 hours in space. In 1986 he accepted a position as senior scientist in the Space Sciences Branch.

Sadly, on October 5, 1993, Dr. Henize died of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) on Mount Everest, after reaching an altitude of 21,000 feet.

Astronaut Karl Henize with soft drink in middeck area

Close-up view of portion of the forward flight station panel

Southern Italy, Instrument Pointing Subsystem

Close-up view of the Plasma Diagnostics Package (PDP) on end of RMS

View of the STS 51-F Discovery's payload bay after it being loaded for flight

Landing of the Shuttle Challenger at Edwards AFB and end of STS 51-F mission

Click on the mission patch and Spacelab Emblem to read more about
Karl Henize's historic spaceflight in more detail:

 


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