Astronaut Donald Peterson has spent nearly 24 years in the Air Force and also a NASA astronaut during the Apollo era. He has taken part in the first spacewalk of the 30 year Space Shuttle Program.
Donald was first trained for the classified military space station program, and then he becomes the first people to walk in the space form the Space Shuttle. He died on Sunday, May 27th, 2018 and the age was 84 when he breathed his last. The associate of the Space Explorers on the Facebook Page wrote on Monday, “So sad to report that we have lost another member of the astronaut family. Fair Skies and tailwinds, Don.”
Peterson joined NASA in 1969, and after two years, he was chosen by the US Air Force among the third group of candidate pilots to crew the planned Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL). The Clandestine reconnaissance platform got cancelled after a while, and this put the Peterson and another fellow to join NASA’s astronaut’s corps.
Peterson has waited for about 14 years for the opportunity to fly to space and then his name was included in the first crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger. On April 4th, 1983, Peterson lifted off to space along with STS-6 commander Paul Weitz, pilot Karol “Bo” Bobko and his fellow mission specialist Story Musgrave. The five-day mission is for the deployment of the First Tacking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-1) to support the communications between the space shuttle in Earth orbit and also mission control which was present on the ground. He resigned from NASA in 1984.
The family of Peterson said after his death, “Don would tell you his greatest joy was caring for and spending time with his wife and family. Saying ‘I love you’ came easily and often from him. He told his grandchildren, ‘holding them in his rocking chair was better than floating in space.’ His unconditional love for all of them will always be treasured.”