Kay Garriott (born November 22, 1930) is an American electrical
engineer and former NASA astronaut, who spent 60 days
aboard the Skylab space station in 1973 during the Skylab
3 mission, and 10 days aboard Spacelab-1 on a Space Shuttle
mission in 1983.
Astronaut Owen K. Garriott
is the father of Robert Garriott and fellow spacefarer
Richard Garriott, with whom he helped found Origin Systems.
is the co-founder and current president of Immunotherapeutics,
Inc. in Huntsville, Alabama.
and military career
was born in Enid, Oklahoma, on November 22, 1930. He graduated
from Enid High School in 1948; received a Bachelor of
Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University
of Oklahoma in 1953, where he was a member of Phi Kappa
Psi Fraternity, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees
from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering in
1957 and 1960, respectively. Garriott was presented an
Honorary Doctorate of Science from Phillips University
in 1973. He completed a one-year U.S. Air Force Pilot
Training Program in 1966, receiving qualification as pilot
in jet aircraft.
was a Boy Scout and he earned the rank of Star Scout.
served as electronics officer in the United States Navy
from 1953 to 1956. From 1961 through 1965 he was an assistant
professor, then associate professor in the Department
of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He performed
research and led graduate studies in ionospheric physics
after obtaining his doctorate, and authored or co-authored
more than 45 scientific papers, chapters and one book,
principally in areas of the physical sciences.
has logged over 5,000 hours flying time, including over
2,900 hours in jet aircraft, and the remainder in spacecraft,
light aircraft and helicopters.
1965, Garriott was one of the six scientist-astronauts
selected by NASA. His first spaceflight, the Skylab 3
mission in 1973, set a world record for duration of approximately
60 days, more than double the previous record. Extensive
experiments were conducted of the Sun, of Earth resources
and in various life sciences relating to human adaptation
second space flight was aboard STS-9 (Spacelab-1) in 1983,
a multidisciplinary and international mission of 10 days
aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. Over 70 separate experiments
in six different disciplines were conducted, primarily
to demonstrate the suitability of Spacelab for research
in all these areas. He operated the world's first amateur
radio station from space, W5LFL, which expanded into an
important activity on dozens of shuttle flights, Space
Station Mir and the International Space Station, with
scores of astronauts and cosmonauts participating.
these missions, Garriott received a NASA fellowship for
in the Space Station Project Office. In this position
he worked closely with the external scientific communities
and advised the project manager concerning the scientific
suitability of the space station design.
Skylab "Stowaway" Prank
September 10, 1973, controllers in Houston were startled
to hear a woman's voice beaming down from Skylab. Using
a sexy tone of voice and calling startled capsule communicator
(CAPCOM) Bob Crippen by name, the woman explained: "The
boys haven't had a home-cooked meal in so long I thought
I'd bring one up." After several minutes in which
she described forest fires seen from space and the beautiful
sunrise, the woman said: "Oh oh. I have to cut off
now. I think the boys are floating up here toward the
command module and I'm not supposed to be talking to you."
As the Skylab crew subsequently revealed, Garriott had
recorded his wife Helen during a private radio transmission
the night before.
leaving NASA in June 1986, Garriott consulted for various
aerospace companies and served as a member of several
NASA and National Research Council Committees.
January 1988 until May 1993, he was Vice President of
space programs at Teledyne Brown Engineering. This division,
which grew to over 1,000 people, provided payload integration
for all Spacelab projects at the Marshall Space Flight
Center and had a substantial role in the development of
the U.S. laboratory for the International Space Station.
has devoted time to several charitable activities in his
hometown, including the Enid (Okla.) Arts and Sciences
Foundation of which he was a co-founder in 1992 and was
co-founder of Leonardo's Discovery Warehouse (the other
founder was his first wife Helen) in 1995. More recently,
he accepted a position as adjunct professor in the Laboratory
for Structural Biology at the University of Alabama in
Huntsville and has participated in research activities
there involving new microbes he returned from extreme
environments such as very alkaline lakes and deep sea
hydrothermal vents. Hyperthermophiles were returned from
several dives in Russian MIR submersibles to the Rainbow
Vents at a depth of 2,300 meters near the Azores in the
central Atlantic Ocean. Other research activities included
three trips to Antarctica from which 20 meteorites were
returned for laboratory study. Garriott formed a 501c-3
public philanthropic Garriott Family Foundation to finance
the aforementioned adventure travel for himself, his wife
and other members of his family.
Owen Garriott and UFOs
III Photo Incident
September 20, 1973
In Orbit, Over SW Indian Ocean
20, 1973; In orbit over Indian Ocean
During revolution # 1863. Astronauts Alan Bean, Owen Garriott
and Jack Lousma spotted what they described as a red "satellite",
which they photographed (4 color photos) and mentioned
during a subsequent debriefing. We have radio conversation
(transcript only) with Houston CapCom about 4.5 hours
after the sighting of this object. There was no man-made
satellite that could explain this sighting and hence the
object was truly anomalous. This case is multiply-listed
as a Cat 8 (photo), Cat 11 (sighting from air/spacecraft),
and flagged as a NASA incident. 10 mins. Distance from
Skylab was 25-30 miles. Estimated diameter was 800 feet.
of the things that's so darn fascinating about this case
is something that Dr Maccabee and Brad Sparks bring up
in the article on Maccabee's site. One interpretation
of the sighting is that the object was approaching on
an orbit in a 51 or 52 degree inclination and about to
intersect with Skylab's 50 degree (but much higher) orbit.
They mention that that inclination was used by the Soviets.
But actually, they often used 65 degrees. 51 degrees was
used for certain very specific flights: the Salyut space
stations and the manned Soyuz ships that docked with them.
At the time of the sighting, Salyut-1 and Salyut-2 had
been flown, and both had failed. Salyut-2 was launched
in April 1973 and was actually the top secret Almaz military
station, the counterpart of the US MOL reconnaissance
space station. Salyut-2 had recon gear aboard, but failed
before it was manned for the first time, about 2 weeks
after it was launched.
remains a mystery with the color photos and optical ranging
yielding an approximate 800-foot size of the space UFO,
much larger than the largest satellite then in space (the
150-foot Skylab-3). [Sparks interviewed Skylab-3 astronaut
Dr. Owen Garriott shortly after the return to earth -
reports and documents
through 2140. This is only one frame but
two different enhancements
of the Photos of a UFO Observed by Skylab 3
(Bruce Maccabee & Brad Sparks)
[Skylab III] (YouTube)
[Skylab III UFO] (YouTube)