During his career, Russell L. "Rusty" Schweickart has often worked to improve safety in space, before his recent focus on the dangers of near-Earth asteroids.

Schweickart was the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 9 space flight, March 3 through 13, 1969, logging 241 hours in space. It was the third manned flight of the Apollo series and the first manned flight of the lunar module. During a 46-minute space walk, Schweickart tested the portable life support backpack that would be used on the lunar surface explorations.

He was backup commander for the first Skylab mission of spring 1973. Following the loss of the thermal shield during launch, he took charge of development of hardware and procedures to erect an emergency solar shade and deploy the jammed solar array wing, which transformed Skylab from a near disaster to a successful operation.

Schweickart has also worked for NASA on transferring its technology to civilian use, was assistant for science and technology to Governor Jerry Brown of California, served as a California energy commissioner, and got involved in satellite communication endeavors, the latest being to develop a satellite system to provide direct global email and digital data to and from anywhere on earth. --Lucy Komisar

Source: NASA Astronaut Biographies

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