Donald Kent Slayton

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Slayton, Donald Kent


Born Mar. 1, 1924, in Sparta, Wis. American pilot and astronaut. US Air Force major (retired).

Slayton joined the Air Force in 1942 and flew 56 combat missions during World War II. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1949 with a baccalaureate in aeronautical engineering, he worked for the Boeing Aircraft Company in Seattle, Wash. In 1951 he was recalled, by the Air Force for military service. Upon graduating from the Air Force Flight Test Pilot School in 1956, he served at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

In April 1959, Slayton was selected by NASA as an astronaut and was chosen as pilot for one of the space flights in the Mercury program; however, in August of the same year he was relieved from flight training because of a heart ailment. In 1962 and 1963 he was chief astronaut. From 1963 to 1974 he directed flight crew operations at the Johnson Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas.

In March 1972, after a comprehensive medical examination, Slayton was reinstated as an astronaut and declared fit to participate in space flights. From July 15 to July 25, 1975, together with the American astronauts T. Stafford and V. Brand, he participated in the Soyuz-Apollo space flight as pilot of the docking module. Slayton has accumulated a total of 217 hr 28 min of flight time in space.

G. A. NAZAROV [23–1661–]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.