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Człowiek i Astronautyka => Osobistości => Wątek zaczęty przez: mss w Styczeń 14, 2021, 17:47

Tytuł: William Edgar Thornton (1929-2021)
Wiadomość wysłana przez: mss w Styczeń 14, 2021, 17:47
Jan. 14, 2021
NASA Remembers Astronaut William Thornton

NASA is saddened to learn of the loss of former physician-astronaut, Dr. William Thornton, who died last week at his home in Boerne, Texas, at the age of 91. Thornton was selected as an astronaut in 1967, and launched twice on the space shuttle Challenger on STS-8 and STS-51B, the Spacelab 3 mission. He logged 313 hours in space. Thornton had a significant influence in the evolution of space life sciences and held patents on a shuttle flight treadmill and waste collection facility. He worked closely with NASA’s biomedical laboratory teams on topics related to space adaptation sickness, lower body negative pressure, muscle atrophy, and exercise. He retired from NASA in 1994.


Tytuł: Odp: William Edgar Thornton (1929-2021)
Wiadomość wysłana przez: mss w Styczeń 15, 2021, 16:13
William Edgar Thornton
April 14, 1929 ~ January 11, 2021 (age 91)


William Edgar Thornton, M.D., a retired astronaut, medical professor and inventor, passed away January 11, 2021 at his home in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX with his wife Jennifer by his side.

He was born on April 14, 1929 in Faison, NC to the late William E. Thornton and Rosa B. Thornton. There will be a small graveside service at a later date in Faison.

While attending Faison High School he opened a radio repair shop and used the profits to pay for college. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1952 from the University of North Carolina. Dr. Thornton enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served as the officer-in-charge of the USAF Instrumentation Laboratory at the Flight Test Air Proving Ground at Elgin Air Force Base, Florida. In working to improve air-to-air combat defenses, Thornton discovered that rockets could be tracked by radar. He developed the Radar Optic Firing Error Indicator (ROFEI), or Thornton Scorer, which was the first practical means of evaluating and maintaining the accuracy of interceptor aircraft. The Thornton Scorer was highly successful and Thornton, as a Second Lieutenant, was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1956.

After leaving the military in 1956, he worked as the chief engineer of the electronics division at Del Mar Engineering Labs in California. Thornton married the former Elizabeth Jennifer Fowler from Newgate Street, England in 1958 and they had two sons. In 1959, he decided to continue his education and enrolled in medical school at the University of North Carolina. After graduating in 1963, Dr. Thornton returned to active duty and was sent to the USAF Aerospace Medical Division at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. Thornton invented a mass measuring device to determine the weight of items in space which is still in use today.

Dr. Thornton was selected as a member of the second class of scientist-astronauts in 1967.
In 1972, he participated in the Skylab Medical Experiment Altitude Test (SMEAT), a 56-day simulation of an American Skylab mission at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Thornton logged over 313 hours in space aboard two missions; STS-8 Challenger (August 30-September 5, 1983) and STS-51B Spacelab 3 Challenger (April 29-May 6, 1985). During the STS-8 mission, he was responsible for making continuous measurements and investigations of the adaptation of the human body to weightlessness. These experiments included a number of first-time measurements on the human nervous system while in space. During the Spacelab 3 mission, Dr. Thornton’s responsibilities included the management of the first animal payload in manned flight.

Dr. Thornton holds over 60 issued patents that cover a wide range of applications from military weapons systems to the first real-time EKG computer analysis. His space related patents include the Shuttle treadmill for in-flight exercise, shock and vibration isolation systems, and an improved waste collection system.

In May of 1994, Dr. Thornton retired from NASA and became a Clinical Professor of Cardiovascular Physical Diagnosis at UTMB. In an effort to improve learning, he developed a hybrid hardware/software system simulating the process of auscultation. With this invention the ability of medical students to recognize anomalies in patients’ hearts was greatly increased.

While in his 80s Dr. Thornton spent several years writing “The Human Body and Weightlessness” a comprehensive textbook on the effects of spaceflight on the human body and solutions.

Dr. Thornton was instrumental in the refurbishment of many structures in his hometown of Faison. In addition, he successfully reintroduced long leaf pine to the family farm outside Faison and planted 8000 trees knowing he would be gone long before they reached maturity. It was his desire to return the farmland to the forest of his youth.

Dr. Thornton is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jennifer Thornton; son William Simon Thornton and wife Mary Kay Thornton of Fair Oaks Ranch, TX; son James Fallon Thornton, MD and wife Katina Thornton, MD of Dallas, TX; and grandchildren Nicholas Thornton, Alexandra Valentine, Michael Thornton, Sarah Thornton, Ava Thornton, Elizabeth Thornton, Alexandra Thornton, Victoria Thornton and Emily Thornton.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Edgar Thornton, please visit our floral store.
Tytuł: Odp: William Edgar Thornton (1929-2021)
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Orionid w Styczeń 16, 2021, 06:41
William Edgar Thornton (http://lk.astronautilus.pl/astros/127.htm), w czasie odbywania swojego pierwszego lotu kosmicznego, został wówczas najstarszym człowiekiem, który tego dokonał.

W locie STS-7, poprzedzającym bezpośrednio STS-8 brał udział Norman Earl Thagard, również astronauta o doświadczeniu medycznym, który towarzyszył zmarłemu astronaucie podczas jego drugiej wyprawy.

Po dwóch uczestników misji STS-8 i STS-51B  już nie żyje.

Wszyscy astronauci (3), urodzeni w latach 20. XX stulecia , którzy brali udział w orbitalnych lotach wahadłowców, odeszli już na wieczną wachtę.




STS-8     https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-8.html
STS-51B https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-51B.html
Tytuł: Odp: William Edgar Thornton (1929-2021)
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Orionid w Styczeń 16, 2021, 07:18
Astronaut William Thornton, who invented shuttle treadmill, dies at 91

January 14, 2021 — Former NASA astronaut William "Bill" Thornton, who used his own inventions to measure and combat the ill-effects of microgravity while on board two space shuttle missions, has died at the age of 91.

William Thornton was selected as an astronaut in 1967 during the Apollo program but did not fly into space until 16 years later aboard the space shuttle. (UTMB Health)

Thornton's death on Jan. 11 was reported by NASA on Thursday (Jan. 14).

"NASA is saddened to learn of the loss of former physician-astronaut, Dr. William Thornton, who died last week at his home in Boerne, Texas," the agency stated.

Selected by NASA with its second group of scientist-astronauts in 1967, Thornton and his "XS-11" classmates were cautioned from the start that they would not fly into space anytime soon — hence the "excess" in their nickname. As it turned out, it took 16 years for Thornton to launch on the first of his two space shuttle flights on Aug. 30, 1983.

NASA astronaut William Thornton, STS-8 mission specialist, takes part in physiological studies on the space shuttle Challenger during his first of two spaceflights in 1983. (NASA)

As a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Challenger, Thornton and his four STS-8 crewmates became the first shuttle astronauts to launch and land at night. A late addition to the mission, Thornton's primary focus was to observe the crew's susceptibility to space adaptation sickness, a condition that impacts the vestibular system as the human body adapts to the microgravity environment.

"About four to five months into the training, we added Bill Thornton to the crew. NASA had noted that several astronauts were suffering from space adaptation syndrome (SAS) or space sickness and they wanted to investigate this problem," mission specialist Guion "Guy" Bluford said in a 2004 NASA oral history (https://historycollection.jsc.nasa.gov/JSCHistoryPortal/history/oral_histories/BlufordGS/blufordgs.htm) interview.

"Bill brought a lot of additional equipment with him to study the physiological changes associated with SAS. We all participated in some of Bill's experiments," said Bluford, who was the first African American to fly into space.

Thornton also worked with a student project that evaluated whether biofeedback training learned on Earth could be successfully implemented in space.

The six-day STS-8 mission, which also deployed a weather and communications satellite for India and carried more than 260,000 stamped envelopes to later be sold to collectors, landed on Sept. 5, 1983.

On his second spaceflight, Thornton again launched aboard the Challenger for a week-long flight as an STS-51B mission specialist on April 29, 1985. Thornton and his six crewmates split into two teams to work around the clock on more than a dozen experiments in the Spacelab module mounted in the shuttle's payload bay.

"We had the first laboratory animals in space and Bill Thornton had to worry about them [during our] shift," mission specialist Don Lind said in his 2005 NASA oral history (https://historycollection.jsc.nasa.gov/JSCHistoryPortal/history/oral_histories/LindDL/linddl.htm). "We had two cute little squirrel monkeys and 24 less-than-cute laboratory rats."

"The monkeys adapted [to space] very, very quickly. The laboratory rats were not quite as savvy as the monkeys," said Lind.

On May 6, 1985, at the conclusion of the STS-51B mission, Thornton had logged a total 13 days, 1 hour and 16 minutes in space over the course of his two flights.

William Edgar Thornton was born on April 14, 1929, in Faison, North Carolina. He received a bachelor of science degree in physics and a doctorate of medicine from the University of North Carolina in 1952 and 1963, respectively.

Following his undergraduate studies, Thornton enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as the officer-in-charge of the Instrumentation Laboratory at the Flight Test Air Proving Ground at Elgin Air Force Base, Florida. After obtaining his medical degree and completing his internship at the Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Thornton returned to active duty and was assigned to the Aerospace Medical Division at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, where he completed flight surgeon training in 1964.

It was during his two-year tour of duty at Brooks that Thornton became involved in space medicine research and subsequently applied to and was selected by NASA to become an astronaut.

Prior to flying into space, Thornton's first mission assignment was a part of the three-member Skylab Medical Experiments Altitude Test, or SMEAT, crew. For 56 days in the summer of 1972, Thornton, Bob Crippen and Bo Bobko simulated life aboard the Skylab orbital workshop while sealed in a vacuum chamber at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (today, Johnson Space Center) in Houston, Texas.

Thornton also served on the support crews for the three Skylab astronaut flights and was the principal investigator for several physiological studies aboard the space station. He was the first to document the effects that microgravity had on the shift and loss of fluid in the human body, as well as the increase in height and the rapid loss of muscle strength and mass during extended spaceflights.

In 1977, Thornton again served on a ground-based crew, this time as a member of the third Spacelab Mission Development Test (SMD III) at Johnson Space Center. During the week-long simulation, Thornton worked with two payload specialists to conduct 26 experiments and 12 operational tests for the future on-orbit laboratory.

When not flying in space, Thornton also worked on devising procedures and new techniques to maintain crew conditioning and health in space. As part of that work, he developed a treadmill for use on board the space shuttle, for which he received one of his more than 60 patents.

NASA astronaut Bill Thornton working with the treadmill he invented for use aboard the space shuttle. (NASA)

"I still am the only person that has ever run around the world on the treadmill that he designed," Thornton said in a 2010 interview with WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Thornton received other patents for the first in-flight mass measurement devices, shock and vibration isolation systems and an improved waste collection system.

In 1994, after 27 years with the space agency, Thornton retired from NASA and became a clinical professor of cardiovascular physical diagnosis at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and later an adjunct professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. In 2010, he donated his NASA papers and archives to the North Carolina State Archives.

For his service to the nation's space program, Thornton was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal and two NASA Space Flight Medals, among other honors.

Thornton was married to the former Elizabeth Fowler. Together they had two sons, William Simon and James Fallon.

NASA astronaut William Thornton, STS-51B mission specialist, works inside the Spacelab module aboard space shuttle Challenger in 1985. (NASA)