Lind, Don L.
Waited 19 years for his only space flight, 1985 STS-51-B, 1st operational Spacelab mission
Autograph ID: 5384
Condition: Very good
Description: “(b. 1930) Scientist and astronaut, flew on STS-51-B, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 29, 1985, 1st operational Spacelab mission. In addition to his duties as payload commander, Lind developed and conducted an experiment to photograph the Earth’s aurora. As the experiment used a camera already on the shuttle, NASA only needed to purchase three rolls of film for $36; Lind described it as “the cheapest experiment that has ever gone into space.” After completing 110 orbits of the earth, the Orbiter Challenger landed at Edwards AFB on May 6, 1985. He received a BS with high honors in physics from the University of Utah in 1953. As a Naval Aviator, Lind volunteered to take high-altitude photo emulsions of cosmic rays for the University of California, Berkeley during flights. This helped him enroll at Berkeley, where he researched pion-nucleon scattering in the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Physics in 1964. He served 4 years on active duty with the Navy, logging 4,500+ hours of flight time. From 1964, Lind worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a space physicist, involved in experiments to determine the nature and properties of low-energy particles within the Earth’s magnetosphere and interplanetary space. He was among the 5th group of â€œOriginal 19â€ NASA astronauts selected in April 1966. Deke Slayton assigned him to science-related tasks due to his doctorate. For the Apollo program he helped to develop tools used on the lunar surface, and was a possible crewman of one of the canceled missions. Lind was backup pilot for Skylab 3 & Skylab 4, (2nd & 3rd manned Skylab missions); was on standby for a rescue mission planned when malfunctions developed on Skylab 3; and was a possible crewman of Skylab B. He was a member of the Astronaut Office’s Operations Missions development group, responsible for developing payloads for the early Space Shuttle Orbital Flight Test (OFT) missions, and the Canadarm. He finally flew as a Mission Specialist on STS-51-B (1985), logging over 168 hours in space. Lind waited longer than any other American for his 1st space flight, 19 years. He left NASA in 1986 and for 9 years served as a professor of physics and astronomy at Utah State University. Lind was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1974.
10 x 8 SP, b&w glossy NASA backstamped bust portrait in suit and tie; undated but ca. 1966.”