Created By The Mercury 7 Astronauts
Loren J. Shriver piloted the first shuttle secret military mission, commanded two other flights, including deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope, and has helped manage the shuttle program while working with both NASA and private industry.
Shriver was born in Jefferson, Iowa in 1944. He received a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1967 and a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1968.
Following graduation from the Air Force Academy in 1967, Shriver was commissioned as a T-38 academic instructor pilot at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma and completed F-4 combat crew training at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. In 1974, Shriver served a tour in Thailand, and trained at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California one year later. He was also a test pilot for the F-15 Joint Task Force at Edwards in 1976.
NASA selected Shriver for astronaut training in 1978. His first shuttle flight, Shriver piloted Discovery in 1985. Because it was a Department of Defense mission, most information was blacked out, just as it was on four earlier military shuttle flights. On the second day, the crew reportedly deployed a two and one-half ton, $300-million Signal Intelligence satellite intended to monitor military communications in much of the world.
Shriver commanded Discovery in 1990, with a five-person crew that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope, which opened a striking new window on the universe for astronomers around the world. During five days aloft, the crew also performed several experiments, most of them studying the effects of weightlessness on materials.
Shriver returned to space in 1992 as commander of Atlantis with a seven-person crew. During eight days in orbit, the astronauts released and later recovered a European science satellite, Eureca; conducted the first Tethered Satellite System test flight, a joint project of NASA and the Italian Space Agency, and monitored several scientific experiments.
Following the Atlantis mission, Shriver became Deputy Director of the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center. In 1997, he was named Deputy Director of Kennedy Space Center for launch and payload processing. He retired from NASA and currently is Vice President of Engineering and Integration and Chief Technology Officer for United Space Alliance.
Loren Shriver was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 3, 2008.