Astronaut Who Went on Strike in Space Dead at 84

Bill Pogue wanted more time to enjoy the view and think
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2014 3:45 PM CDT
Updated Mar 11, 2014 4:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Astronaut Bill Pogue has died at age 84, and Space.com notes that he earned his spot in history by serving for nearly 3 months aboard the Skylab space station in the early 1970s. That stint aboard the earth-orbiting outpost earned him and his two crewmates the distinction of the longest human spaceflight up to that point. But the New York Times notes that Pogue and friends earned another distinction as well—they became the first astronauts to stage what amounted to a strike while in space.

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About halfway through the mission, the crew got fed up with the constant, mundane chores that ground control had them doing, and staged their job action. While NASA officials at Cape Canaveral chalked it up to possible depression, Pogue explained later that he and his crewmates simply wanted more time to enjoy the view and reflect, reports the Times. The two sides reached a compromise, making the last half of the mission more suitable for “studying the Sun, the Earth below, and ourselves," Pogue wrote in his autobiography. (Read more William Pogue stories.)

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