- Category : Astronaut
- Type : GE
- Profile : 5/2 - Heretical / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (35)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Plane 1
Thomas Kenneth "Ken" Mattingly II, (born March 17, 1936) is a retired American astronaut, Naval Aviator and Rear Admiral in the United States Navy who flew on the Apollo 16, STS-4 and STS-51-C missions. He had been scheduled to fly on Apollo 13, but was held back due to concerns about a potential illness (which he did not contract). He later flew as Command Module Pilot for Apollo 16, making him one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Mattingly attended school in Hialeah, Florida, and was active in the Boy Scouts of America where he achieved its second highest rank, Life Scout. He graduated from Miami Edison High School and went on to receive a B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Auburn University in 1958, where he was also a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity (Epsilon Alpha chapter). He joined the U.S. Navy as an Ensign in 1958 and received his aviator wings in 1960. He was then assigned to Attack Squadron THIRTY-FIVE (VA-35) at NAS Oceana, Virginia and flew A-1H Skyraider aircraft aboard the USS Saratoga from 1960 to 1963. In July 1963, he served in Heavy Attack Squadron ELEVEN (VAH-11) at NAS Sanford, Florida, where he flew the A-3B Skywarrior aircraft for two years and deployed aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Mattingly was a student at the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California when NASA selected him as an astronaut in April 1966.
Mattingly's first assignment was to be the Command Module Pilot on the Apollo 13 mission. Three days prior to launch, he was removed from the mission due to exposure to German measles (which he never contracted) and was replaced by the backup CM pilot, Jack Swigert. As a result, he missed the dramatic in-flight explosion that crippled the spacecraft. However, Mattingly was involved in helping the crew solve the problem of power conservation during re-entry.
The swapout from Apollo 13 placed Mattingly on the crew that would fly Apollo 16 (April 16–27, 1972), the fifth manned lunar landing mission. The crew included John W. Young (commander), Mattingly (command module pilot), and Charles M. Duke, Jr. (lunar module pilot). It was Duke's German measles that led to the Mattingly-Swigert swap on Apollo 13.
The mission assigned to Apollo 16 was to collect samples from the lunar highlands near the crater Descartes. While in lunar orbit the scientific instruments aboard the command and service module Casper extended the photographic and geochemical mapping of a belt around the lunar equator. Twenty-six separate scientific experiments were conducted both in lunar orbit and during cislunar coast. Major emphasis was placed on using man as an orbital observer, capitalizing on the human eye's unique capabilities and man's inherent curiosity.
During the return leg of the mission, Mattingly carried out an Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) to retrieve film and data packages from the science bay on the side of the service module. Although the mission of Apollo 16 was terminated one day early, due to concern over several spacecraft malfunctions, all major objectives were accomplished through the ceaseless efforts of the mission support team and were made possible by the most rigorous preflight planning yet associated with an Apollo mission.
Space Shuttle flights
Following his return to Earth, Mattingly served in astronaut managerial positions in the Space Shuttle development program.
Mattingly was named to command STS-4, the fourth and final orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 27, 1982 with Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., as the pilot. This 7-day mission was designed to: further verify ascent and entry phases of shuttle missions; perform continued studies of the effects of long-term thermal extremes on the Orbiter subsystems; and conduct a survey of Orbiter-induced contamination on the Orbiter payload bay. Additionally, the crew operated several scientific experiments located in the Orbiter's cabin and in the payload bay. These experiments included the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System experiment designed to investigate the separation of biological materials in a fluid according to their surface electrical charge. This experiment was a pathfinder for the first commercial venture to capitalize on the unique characteristics of space. The crew is also credited with effecting an in-flight repair which enabled them to activate the first operational "Getaway Special" (composed of nine experiments that ranged from algae and duckweed growth in space to fruit fly and brine shrimp genetic studies). STS-4 completed 112 orbits of the Earth before landing on a concrete runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on July 4, 1982.
STS-51-C, the first Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on January 24, 1985. The crew included Ken Mattingly (spacecraft commander), Loren Shriver (pilot), James Buchli and Ellison Onizuka (mission specialists), and Gary Payton (DOD payload specialist). STS-51-C performed its DOD mission which included deployment of a modified Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) vehicle from the Space Shuttle Discovery. Landing occurred on January 27, 1985.
Mattingly received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1972.
In 1985, Mattingly retired from NASA and retired from the Navy in 1986 with the two-star rank of rear admiral (upper half), and entered the private sector. He worked as a director in Grumman's Space Station Support Division. He then headed the Atlas booster program for General Dynamics in San Diego, California. At Lockheed Martin he was vice president in charge of the X-33 development program. He is currently working at Systems Planning and Analysis in Virginia.
Mattingly was portrayed in the 1995 movie Apollo 13 by Gary Sinise. He was portrayed in the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon by Željko Ivanek.