Paul J. Weitz

Captain, US Navy (Retired)
Born July 25, 1932, in Erie, Pennsylvania
BS in aeronautical engineering from Pennsylvania State University
MS in aeronautical engineering from U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

About the Man

Paul 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.

About the Spaceflights


May 25, 1973

The Skylab Space Station was America's first experimental space station. The station was launched into orbit by a Saturn V booster, on May 14, 1973. The purpose of the Skylab Project was to prove that humans could live and work in space for extended periods. Nearly 300 scientific and technical experiments were conducted aboard the Sklyab. Medical experiments on humans' adaptability to zero gravity were performed as well. Many solar observations, and detailed Earth resources experiments were conducted before the Skylab Station fell to Earth on July 11, 1979.

Skylab 2 was the first manned mission of the Skylab Project. Soon after its launch, the Skylab Space Station's meteoroid shield ripped off taking one of the craft's two solar panels with it; a piece of the shield wrapped around the other panel keeping it from deploying. With fellow astronauts Joseph P. Kerwin and Pete Conrad. Paul Weitz made substantial repairs to the damaged Skylab Station. The Skylab 2 Crew conducted solar astronomy and Earth resources experiments, medical studies, and five student experiments. After 404 orbits and 392 experiment hours were completed; including three EVAs totalling six hours, 20 minutes, 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.

Weitz also logged 2 hours and 11 minutes in extravehicular activities.The crew of Skylab-2 returned to Earth on June 22, 1973.

Flight Duration: Twenty-Eight Days, and Fifty Minutes


April 4, 1983

Mr. Weitz was spacecraft commander on the crew of STS-6

Primary payload was first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-1. Additional propellant aboard satellite used over next several months gradually place TDRS-1 into properly circularized orbit.

First space walk of Shuttle program performed by Peterson and Musgrave, lasting about four hours, 17 minutes.

Other payloads: Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) (MLR), Radiation Monitoring Experiment (RME). Night/Day Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL), and three Get Away Special canisters. Mission used first lightweight external tank and lightweight rocket booster casings.

Flight Duration: 5 days, 2 hours, 14 minutes, 25 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