Rusty Schweickart

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(Redirected from Russell Schweickart)

Russell L. "Rusty" Schweickart (born October 25, 1935, in Neptune, New Jersey) is an American astronaut.

Schweickart became an astronaut in October of 1963. He has spent over 241 hours in space on one spaceflight. In 1969, Schweickart served on the Apollo 9 mission during which he piloted the lunar module. This was the first manned test of the Apollo lunar module as well as the first broadcast of music from space. Schweickart was also due to perform an EVA, the first of the Apollo Programme that would test the Portable Life Support System that would be used to walk on the Moon.

Schweickart began to suffer from space sickness on the first day in orbit forcing the postponement of the EVA. Schweickart's condition was made worse as the mission Commander James McDivitt did not report it to Mission Control (the flight surgeon could have advised Schweikart on ways of limiting the effects). Eventually Schweickart improved and completed the EVA standing on the Lunar Module and provided an evocative description of the earth.

The space sickness contributed to Schweickart being sidelined for further Apollo missions and he concentrated on the Skylab programme.

Schweickart was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1973.

Rusty Schweickart has spoken and taught at the Esalen Institute. Schweickart is also cofounder of the B612 Foundation, a group that aims to defend Earth from asteroid impacts.

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