Story Musgrave, PhD
Story Musgrave, PhD
Franklin Story Musgrave joined the United States Marine
Corps at 18. While in the Corps, Musgrave served as an
aviation electrician and instrument technician. After
completing this service, he enrolled at Syracuse University
where, in 1958, he received a bachelor of science degree in
mathematics and statistics. Upon graduation from
Syracuse, he went to work for the Eastman Kodak
Company as a mathematician and operations analyst.
In the years that followed, he earned an MBA in operations
analysis and computer programming from UCLA. The
following year he added a bachelor’s degree in chemistry
from Marietta College and, in 1964, received his Doctor of
Medicine degree from Columbia University. Leaving Kodak, he served a surgical internship at the
University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington. He remained at Kentucky on post-doctoral
fellowships from the Air Force and the Heart Institute, earning an additional master’s degree in
physiology and biophysics. High-altitude flight and the then-new space program had created new areas
of medicine, and Dr. Musgrave was in the forefront, pursuing research in cardiovascular and exercise
physiology and in the medicine of aviation.
In August 1967, Musgrave was selected by NASA to be among the first cohort of astronaut-scientists.
Until then, astronauts had been chosen from the ranks of military test pilots. After completing astronaut
training, he worked on the design and development of the Skylab program and served as backup
science pilot for the first Skylab mission. Dr. Musgrave helped design the spacesuits, life support
systems, airlocks and manned maneuvering units that would be used for space walks and other
extravehicular activity on the Space Shuttle missions.
From 1967 to 1989, while working for NASA, Musgrave served as a part-time surgeon at Denver General
Hospital, and as a part-time professor of physiology at and biophysics at the University of Kentucky
Medical Center. He also trained as a pilot and parachutists, earning his Air Force Wings and FAA ratings
as flight instructor, instrument instructor, glider instructor, and airline transport pilot. He has flown 160
different types of civilian and military aircraft, and has made more than 500 free falls, including 100
experimental free-falls designed to study human aerodynamics.
The first of Dr. Musgrave’s six trips into outer space took place on the maiden voyage of the Space
Shuttle Challenger in 1983. While on this mission, Musgrave and Don Peterson performed the first space
walks off of the Shuttle. On his second Shuttle mission, he served as systems engineer during launch
and reentry, and as a pilot during the orbital operations. Perhaps the most dramatic of Story Musgrave’s
space mission was the fifth, on the Shuttle Endeavour. Musgrave commanded the mission to repair the
damaged Hubble Space Telescope. During this 11-day mission, the Telescope was restored to full
functionality. Repairs required five spacewalks, three performed by Musgrave himself.
Story Musgrave flew his last space mission in January, 1996, on the Space Shuttle Columbia. On this
mission, the crew deployed and retrieved reusable satellites for studying the origin and composition of
the stars, and to experiment with super-vacuum conditions in which thin film wafers can be grown for use
in the semiconductor industry.