Main article: List of astronauts by selection

Group 7 astronauts from left to right: Bobko, Fullerton, Hartsfield, Crippen, Peterson, Truly and Overmyer

Astronaut Group 7, referred to in some documents as the USAF MOL Transfer, was announced by NASA on August 14, 1969, and was the last group to be selected during the Apollo era. After the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) project was cancelled, NASA hired seven of the astronauts selected for that program to form this "Group 7", roughly the younger half of the MOL astronauts. By the time they joined NASA, all Apollo flight assignments had been lined up, but four were given non-flying support assignments for Apollo. Others were also given support assignments for Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, with Bobko and Crippen participating in the Skylab Medical Experiment Altitude Test. Group 7 went on to form the core of early Space Shuttle pilots, upgrading to commander after their first flight, flying 17 STS missions between them, plus the Approach and Landing Tests of Enterprise (OV-101).


A chart showing Group 7 assignments in relation to other astronaut groups up through the Apollo era. It clearly shows that by the time they were transferred from the military program to NASA, all flight assignments for Apollo had already been filled.

Group membersEdit

STS-6 Challenger — April 1983 — Pilot — Maiden flight of Challenger, TDRS A satellite deployment mission[1]
STS-51-D Discovery — April 1985 — Commander — Anik C-1 and Syncom IV-3 satellite deployment mission, first politician in space[1]
STS-51-J Atlantis — October 1985 — Commander — Maiden flight of Atlantis, classified United States Department of Defense mission; DSCS-III satellite deployment[1]
STS-1 Columbia — April 1981 — Pilot — First Space Shuttle mission, maiden flight of Columbia, orbital test flight[2]
STS-7 Challenger — June 1983 — Commander — Anik C-2 and Palapa B1 satellite deployment mission, first American woman in space[2]
STS-41-C Challenger — April 1984 — Commander — Long Duration Exposure Facility deployment and Solar Max repair mission[2]
STS-41-G Challenger — October 1984 — Commander — Earth Radiation Budget Satellite deployment mission, first spacewalk by an American woman, first Canadian astronaut[2]
Crippen would eventually serve as director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center.
ALT Enterprise — February through October 1977 — Pilot[3]
STS-3 Columbia — March 1982 — Pilot — Research and development flight[3]
STS-51-F Challenger — July 1985 — Commander — Spacelab pallet mission[3]
STS-4 Columbia — June 1982 — Pilot — Final research and development flight, first classified United States Department of Defense payload[4]
STS-41-D Discovery — August 1984 — Commander — Maiden flight of Discovery, SBS-D, Telstar 3C, and Syncom IV-2 satellite deployment mission[4]
STS-61-A Challenger — October 1985 — Commander — Spacelab mission[4]
STS-5 Columbia — November 1982 — Pilot — SBS-C and Anik C-3 satellite deployment mission[5]
STS-51-B Challenger — April 1985 — Commander — Spacelab mission[5]
STS-6 Challenger — April 1983 — Mission Specialist — Maiden flight of Challenger, TDRS A satellite deployment mission[6]
ALT Enterprise — February through October 1977 — Pilot[7]
STS-2 Columbia — November 1981 — Pilot — Remote Manipulator System testing[7]
STS-8 Challenger — August 1983 — Commander — INSAT-1B satellite deployment mission, first night launch and night landing of the Shuttle[7]
Truly would later serve as Administrator of NASA.


External linksEdit

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