Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

Created By The Mercury 7 Astronauts

Karol “Bo” Bobko

Karol Bo Bobko

During his 19 years in the astronaut program, Karol J. “Bo” Bobko, (Colonel, USAF, Ret.), flew on three space shuttle missions and logged more than 386 hours in space. Bobko served as pilot during the first voyage of space shuttle Challenger aboard STS-6 in January 1983. The crew deployed the first of a new series of communication satellites and conducted the first space shuttle spacewalk. The mission used the first light weight external tank and solid rocket booster castings.

In April 1985, Bobko served as the commander of STS-51D space shuttle Discovery. The mission was to deploy two communication satellites. When one of the satellites (LEASAT-3) malfunctioned, a daring attempt was made to activate the satellite which required an additional spacewalk and operation with the shuttle’s robotic arm. After five days in space, Bobko successfully landed space shuttle Discovery in spite of a blown main landing gear tire. In October 1985, Bobko flew on STS-51J, the first flight of space shuttle Atlantis and the second Department of Defense mission for the space shuttle program.

Bobko retired from NASA and the U.S. Air Force in 1988. Currently, he serves as President of the U.S. Chapter of the Association of Space Explorers.

Karol J. Bobko was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 7, 2011.