CharlesVeach-smAstronaut Charles Lacy Veach was born in Chicago in 1944.

After graduating high school in 1962, Veach entered the Air Force Academy and continued into service with the Air Force after receiving his bachelor’s degree. Veach served as a fighter pilot for 14 years and performed over 250 combat missions during the Vietnam War. For his service, Veach received a Distinguished Flying Cross award, an Air Medal, an Air Force Commendation Medal, and a Purple Heart.

He left the Air force in 1981 and accepted a position as an instructor pilot with NASA in 1982 to train astronaut pilots to operate their space shuttles. In 1985 he was selected to become an astronaut and participated on a total of two missions, STS-39 and STS-52.

STS-39, in 1991, was an eight-day mission aboard the Discovery space shuttle in which Veach operated multiple pieces of telescopic equipment in order to document Earths’ atmosphere. STS-52, in 1992, was a 10-day mission aboard the Columbia space shuttle in which the crew was able to deploy the Laser Geodynamic Satellite. Veach logged over 430 hours in space and contributed his expertise in robotics to the development of equipment for the International Space Station.

Shortly after the completion of STS-52, Veach was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away in 1995.

Learn more:
Charles Lacy Veach’s NASA Bio