About Us

The campus is named after the Challenger commander was Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis W. Scobee. He was born on May 19, 1939, in Cle Elum, Washington, and graduated from the public high school in Auburn, Washington, in 1957. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, training as a reciprocating engine mechanic but longing to fly, he took night courses and in 1965 completed a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. This made it possible for Scobee to receive an officer’s commission and enter the Air Force pilot training program.  

He received his pilot’s wings in 1966 and began a series of flying assignments with the Air Force, including a combat tour in Vietnam.  Scobee married June Kent of San Antonio, Texas, and they had two children, Kathie R. and Richard W., in the early 1960s.  He attended the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1972 and thereafter was involved in several test programs.  As an Air Force test pilot Scobee flew more than 45 types of aircraft, logging more than 6,500 hours of flight time.

In 1978 Scobee entered NASA’s astronaut corps and was the pilot of STS-41-C, the fifth orbital flight of the Challenger spacecraft, launching from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 6, 1984.  During this seven-day mission the crew successfully retrieved and repaired the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite and returned it to orbit.  This was an enormously important mission, because it demonstrated the capability that NASA had long said existed with the Space Shuttle to repair satellites in orbit.
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