Anthony W. England

Anthony Wayne “Tony” England is an American geochemist selected by NASA as an astronaut in 1967. England logged 7 days, 22 hours, and 45 minutes in space as well as numerous support contributions before his retirement.

England was born May 15, 1942 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended primary school in Indiana but his family relocated and made his new hometown West Fargo, North Dakota. England graduated from high school in North Dakota. England’s academic achievement allowed him to attend the coveted Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). There he worked to attain his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences which he completed in 1965. He continued on to earn a Doctorate of Philosophy in Earth and Planetary Sciences in 1970.

Dr. England had been selected as a scientist-astronaut by NASA in August 1967 during his academic career. He managed to complete his studies and complete a 53-week course in flight training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Once deemed eligible to serve as a crew member on missions, England was chosen to assist as a support crewman for the Apollo 13 and 16 flights. In this communications support role he would speak to the astronauts of Apollo 16 as they explored the surface of the moon.

He left NASA for the U.S. Geological Survey in 1972 where he held the position of Deputy Chief of the Office of Geochemistry and Geophysics and Associate Editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research. Dr. England spent two seasons in Antarctica leading field parties to gather data and do research pertaining to his development and use of radars to probe the moon and glaciers. Dr. England served on several Federal Committees concerned with Antarctic policy, nuclear waste containment, and Federal Science and Technology as well as the National Academy’s Space Shuttle Studies Board.

In 1979, England returned to NASA at the Johnson Space Center. There Dr. England served as a senior scientist-astronaut on the operation mission development group at the Astronaut Office. Dr. England’s natural leadership led to him eventually managing that group.

Dr. England was selected in 1985 to serve with a seven member crew on STS-51-F Spacelab-2. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 29, 1985. This mission was the first mission to operate the Spacelab Instrument Pointing System (IPS). Aboard the shuttle were numerous major experiments (7 in the field of astronomy and solar physics, 3 were for studies of the Earth’s ionosphere, 2 were life science experiments, and 1 studied the properties of superfluid helium) that Dr. England managed through operations of the Spacelab systems. England also operated the Instrument Pointing System (IPS) and the Remote Manipulating System (RMS).  After 126 orbits of the earth in 7 days, 22 hours, and 45 minutes, the Challenger returned to Edwards Air Force Base, California, on August the 6th.

During the remainder of Dr. England’s time at NASA before retiring in 1998, he served as a Program Scientist for Space Station as well as teaching Remote Sensing Geophysics at Rice University. England received awards including the Johnson Space Center Superior Achievement Award (1970), the NASA Outstanding Scientific Achievement Medal (1973), the U.S. Antarctic Medal (1979), the NASA Space Flight Medal (1985), the American Astronomical Society Space Flight Award (1986) and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1988) before his retirement.
Currently, Dr. England serves as the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. England had previously held position of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering,  Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Professor of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Science, and Director of the Center for Spatial Analysis.

He is married to Kathleen Ann Kreutz with two daughters.

Image Caption: Portrait of Astronaut Anthony W. England, dressed in the Shuttle blue flight suit. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia