Rick Hauck

Past Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Former Astronaut and space pioneer Captain Rick Hauck presided over some of the most important NASA missions in the agency's history. He flew with Sally Ride on the Challenger and captained the Discovery on the first shuttle mission after the 1986 Challenger tragedy.

Hauck landed in NASA's astronaut corps in 1978 after serving in the Navy's Advanced Science Program and earning a master's degree in nuclear engineering from MIT.

History's first space salvage mission began in 1984 when Captain Hauck and his four crew members blasted off in Discovery to rescue two communications satellites stranded in useless orbits. Hauck pursued the wayward Palapa and Westar payloads and skillfully guided Discovery to a successful rendezvous with them. Two space-walking crew members, after some technical difficulties, succeeded in corralling both and berthing them in the cargo bay for return to Earth and repair.

In 1988, when NASA was ready to return to flight two years after the Challenger tragedy, Captain Hauck was selected to command a crew of five veteran shuttle fliers to test the redesigned spacecraft. Discovery lifted off flawlessly, and at a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan announced "America is back in space!"

As a participant in some of NASA's most ambitious missions, Captain Hauck offers a rare perspective on what it's like to fly a space shuttle or travel around the world in 90 minutes. He looks forward to speaking with Lindblad's guests about the future of space tourism and exploration.

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