Don L Lind

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frame|right|Official astronaut portrait of Don Lind

Don Leslie Lind is a former NASA astronaut who was born in Midvale, Utah on May 18, 1930. He attended Midvale Elementary School and he graduated from Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah. Later he married Kathleen Maughan of Logan, Utah with whom he had seven children. His interests include amateur theatricals, play writing, and painting, but he's also an avid swimmer and skier.


Lind received a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in Physics from the University of Utah in 1953 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in High Energy Nuclear Physics in 1964 from the University of California, Berkeley where he did research on pion-nucleon scattering, a type of basic high energy particle interaction in the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. He performed his post-doctoral study at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska from 1975 to 1976.


Lind holds the rank of Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He served four years on active duty with the Navy at San Diego and later aboard the carrier USS Hancock. During that time he logged more than 4,500 hours of flight time. 4,000 of which where in a jet aircraft. He received his wings in 1957.


From 1964, Lind worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a space physicist. He was involved in experiments to determine the nature and properties of low-energy particles within the Earth's magnetosphere and interplanetary space.

Lind in Space

Dr. Lind was among NASA's fifth group of astronauts, the "Original Nineteen," selected in April 1966.

He would possibly have been on the crew of Apollo 20, which was canceled. He served as backup science-pilot for Skylab 3 and Skylab 4 (the second and third manned Skylab missions) and was on standby for a rescue mission planned when malfunctions developed on Skylab 3. He was also a member of the Astronaut Office's Operations Missions development group, responsible for developing payloads for the early Space Shuttle Orbital Flight Test (OFT) missions. He finally flew as a mission specialist on STS-51-B (April 29 to May 6, 1985). logging over 168 hours in space. Lind waited longer than any other American for his first spaceflight - 19 years. 16 of the Original Nineteen, as well as 14 in later astronaut groups, flew in space before Lind.

Dr. Lind left NASA in 1986.

Spacelab-3 mission

STS-51B, the Spacelab-3 science mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 29, 1985. This was the first operational Spacelab mission. The seven men crew investigated crystal growth, drop dynamics leading to containerless material processing, atmospheric trace gas spectroscopy, solar and planetary atmospheric simulation, cosmic rays, laboratory animals and human medical monitoring.

Dr. Lind developed and conducted an experiment to make unique 3-dimensional video recordings of the earth's aurora. After completing 110 orbits of the earth, the Orbiter Challenger landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on May 6, 1985.

Memberships and Awards

Lind is member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for Advancement of Science, and Phi Kappa Phi. He was also awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1974.

External link