Stanley Griggs

Stanley Griggs was a United States Navy officer and a NASA astronaut. He was born Stanley David Griggs on September 7, 1939 in Portland, Oregon. He remained in his hometown throughout his childhood, became an Eagle Scout during his school years, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1957. He then went on to attend the United States Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1962. Shortly after, he began Naval pilot training and earned his United States Navy pilot wings in 1964. His first assignment was flying A-4 Skyhawks attached to Attack Squadron-72. He was also aboard three cruises during his time in the Navy; one was a Mediterranean cruise aboard the USS Independence and two were Southeast Asia combat cruises aboard the USS Franklin Roosevelt. In 1967, Griggs went to Patuxent River, Maryland to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. After his training there, he was assigned to the Flying Qualities and Performance Branch in the Flight Test Division. In 1970, he earned a Master of Science in administration from George Washington University and went on to work as a research pilot at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. That same year, he resigned from the Navy commission and moved to the Naval Air Reserve, where he was assigned to multiple different fighter and attack squadrons at various Naval Air Stations. Back at the Johnson Space Center he was designated as the project pilot for the space shuttle trainer aircraft and assisted in testing their deployments. He was appointed Chief of the Shuttle Training Aircraft Operations Office in January 1976.

NASA chose Griggs to be an astronaut candidate in January 1978. In August 1979, after finishing a year of training and evaluation, he became eligible for Space Shuttle flight crew assignment. He then took on several Space Shuttle engineering duties and helped develop the Head-Up Display and the Manned Maneuvering Unit. During this time he also trained for future spaceflights. His first mission to space was as a mission specialist for flight STS-51-D, which launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 12, 1985. The crew deployed two communication satellites, conducted electrophoresis and echocardiograph operations in space, as well as accomplished alternate experiments. However, one of the communication satellites malfunctioned, so the crew attempted to activate the satellite. This required an unscheduled EVA by Griggs to rendezvous with the remote manipulator arm. The mission ended on April 19, 1985 at Kennedy Space Center.

Tragically, on June 17, 1989, Griggs was killed during his training for STS-33, when the World War II training aircraft he was piloting crashed in Arkansas. He was married to Karen Frances Kreeb and had two daughters. He enjoyed flying, auto restoration, running, and skiing. Throughout his life, Griggs earned many awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, an Air Medal with two Silver Stars and four Gold Stars, a Navy Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, a NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Achievement Award, and NASA Sustained Superior Performance Award

Image Caption: Stanley David Griggs. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia