Iowa History Daily: On September 23, 1944, Astronaut Loren J. Shriver was born in Jefferson. A native of Paton in Greene County, went on to log over 386 hours in space over the course of three flights serving as the pilot and commander of the Space Shuttle.
Shriver graduated from Paton High School in 1962 as the space race accelerated between the United States and the Soviet Union. Enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy, Shriver graduated in 1967 before going on to complete a Master of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University in 1968.
Sent to Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Shriver worked as an academic instructor pilot on the T-38 before heading to an overseas tour in Thailand in 1974. He returned stateside in 1975 and attended United States Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Graduating to test pilot status on the F-15 Joint Test Force with the 6512th Test Squadron, Shriver worked until NASA selected him as an astronaut in 1978.
By 1982 Shriver was ready and got the call to serve as the pilot of the STS-10, the first Department of Defense mission utilizing the Space Shuttle, but NASA ultimately cancelled the mission. However, in January 1985, Shriver launched on the STS-51-C in the role of pilot from Kennedy Space Center. Moving to commander on his subsequent two space flights, Shriver successfully led both missions. Serving as NASA’s Deputy Director of Launch and Payload Processing at Kennedy Space Center until his retirement, Shriver ultimately earned the rank of US Air Force Colonel. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar