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Astronaut Jerry Carr, Last Commander Of First U.S. Space Station, Dies at 88

NASA Astronaut Jerry Carr commanded SkyLab 4, the last mission of the first U.S. space station. Photo: NASA & Carr family

Former NASA astronaut and the final commander of America’s first space space station Gerald “Jerry” Carr has died.

Carr was selected as an astronaut in 1966 as a part of the Apollo program, although he never flew to the moon. Instead, he supported the crew of Apollo 8 and 12 as CAPCOM relaying information between mission control and the crew.

Carr would fly to space in 1973 commanding SkyLab 4, the third and final SkyLab mission. Carr, along with a crew of two others, launched from Kennedy Space Center and spent a then-record 84 days in space. He logged more than 15 hours spacewalking outside the orbiting workshop.

The biomedical and scientific data collected from SkyLab led to the development of future space stations like the International Space Station and helped prove that humans could live for extended periods of time in space.

“We are all enormously proud of his legacy as a true space pioneer and of the lasting impact of his historic mission aboard America’s first space station,” said Carr’s family in a statement.

Before NASA, Carr served in the Marine Corps. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center in 1977.

Carr was 88 years old.


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