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Tigers: Tracking a Legend
Jack R. Lousma
Col. Jack Robert Lousma was born on February 29, 1936 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As an astronaut for the NASA space program, he helped greatly advance the science of space flight.
Lousma was educated at the University of Michigan where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1959, and the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School, where he earned the degree of aeronautical doctorate of astronautical science from the University of Michigan in 1973.
Lousma became a Marine Corps officer in 1959 and received his wings in 1960. He has logged 6,400 hours of flight time with 4,500 hours in jet aircraft and 240 hours in helicopters.
In April 1966, Lousma was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA. He then served as a member of the astronaut support crew who provided critical ground support for the Apollo 9, 10, and 13 missions before being assigned as the pilot of Skylab 3 on its 59 ½ day flight in 1973, traveling 24,400,000 miles in orbit.
On his second mission, Lousma was commander of the third orbital test flight of the Columbia space shuttle, launched in 1982. Major flight test objectives included the first use of the 50 foot remote manipulator system to grapple the maneuver a payload in space. He has logged 1,619 hours, 13 minutes, and 53 seconds in his two space flights, including 11 hours and 2 minutes in two separate space walks outside the Skylab space station on his first flight.
After leaving NASA he served as an aerospace consultant, the director of Republic Bank of Ann Arbor, an adjunct professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan and on the President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament.
Lousma has received many awards including Distinguished Service medals from NASA, the U.S. Navy, and the Department of Defense, the Federation Aeronautique International V.M. Komarov Diploma, the Robert J. Collier Trophy, and NASA Space Medal.
He was enshrined on October 13, 1989 for his contributions to the exploration of spa