Rusty Schweickart, Astronaut and Scientist
Apollo 9 astronaut Russell L. (Rusty) Schweickart is a retired business and government executive who served for ten years as Chairman of the B612 Foundation, a non-profit private foundation that champions the development of spaceflight concepts to protect Earth from future asteroid impacts. Having developed several viable deflection concepts B612 is now focused on mapping the inner solar system for asteroids that might threaten impact.
Schweickart is founder and past president of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), the international professional society of astronauts and cosmonauts. The Association's first book, The Home Planet, with a preface by Schweickart, was published simultaneously in 10 nations in 1988 and was an immediate international best seller.
Schweickart was also Chairman of the ASE Committee on NEOs (near-Earth objects) and led a 5-year effort to alert the international community to the danger of asteroid impacts. The ASE NEO Committee and its international Panel on Asteroid Threat Mitigation submitted its report, Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response, to the United Nations in 2009. The ASE’s report has since formed the basis for the UN’s development of guidelines to prevent asteroid impacts, which will reach the UN General Assembly in 2013.
A former US Air Force fighter pilot, Schweickart joined NASA in 1963 and served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 9, March 3-13, 1969, logging 241 hours in space. This was the third manned flight of the Apollo series and the first manned flight of the lunar module. The mission earned him the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and an Emmy Award for transmitting the first live TV pictures from space.
Schweickart later served as backup commander for the first Skylab mission – where his work in overcoming initial solar shield problems earned him NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal – before moving to NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.
Following NASA, Schweickart joined the staff of Governor Jerry Brown of California, where he served as Commissioner of Energy for the State of California. In the corporate world, Schweickart held senior positions with several high-tech satellite and communications companies, retiring in 1998 as president and CEO of ALOHA Networks, Inc.
Schweickart received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is married to Nancy Ramsey. He has seven children and eleven grandchildren.
Rusty Schweickart is scheduled to sail on the following voyage(s) (subject to change):