JANUARY 23, 1930

WILLIAM R. POGUE BORN–ASTRONAUT/FIGHTER PILOT OF CHOCTAW HERITAGE

Born in Okemah, Oklahoma, Pogue was of Choctaw heritage.  Joining the Air Force in 1951, he logged 43 combat missions in Korea and later flew with the Thunderbirds.  In 1966, he joined NASA where he supported the Apollo 7, 11 and 14 missions before piloting his last mission to the Skylab space station in 1973.  Until 1978, this mission was the longest in space.  The mission was also memorable because the crew went “on strike.”  Members felt “overscheduled.”  Pogue conducted over 50 scientific experiments and made two forays outside the station for unscheduled repairs.  They demanded time just to look out the window and think.  Pogue openly discussed physical realities of space: nausea, headaches, dizziness–“Space Crud”—and wrote a children’s book titled How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space?  Retiring from NASA in 1975, he helped improve practical space station technology–toilets, showers, hammocks, kitchens and plastic sacks (aka vomitus bags).  Pogue died on March 3, 2014 in Cocoa Beach, Fla.

Source:  Paul Vitello, “William Pogue, Astronaut Who Staged a Strike in Space, Dies at 84,” New York Times, 3/10/2014.  Retreived 6/5/2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/science/space/william-r-pogue-astronaut-who-flew-longest-skylab-mission-is-dead-at-84.html
Photo:  NASA.  Public domain.  NASA does not protect its material by copyright other than where specified.

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