Richard H. Truly death, Former NASA administrator passed away at 86

Richard H. Truly death, Former NASA administrator passed away at 86

NASA astronaut Richard Truly, who flew on two space shuttle missions and went on to become the agency’s eighth administrator, passed away. Read on to know more about his death in detail.

Richard H. Truly passed away:

Richard H. Truly, a retired vice admiral, NASA astronaut, and NASA Administrator, passed away on February 27, 2024, at the age of 86. 

Astronaut Jan Davis posted this sad news on social media, saying,

So sorry to hear of the death of Dick Truly. I enjoyed working with him while he was at HQ during his return to flight after Challenger, while he was NASA administrator, and as fellow Georgia Tech alums. He was an awesome pilot and astronaut, a great leader, a wonderful person, and a good friend. Condolences and prayers for his family.

Who was Richard H. Truly?

Richard was a retired vice admiral in the US Navy, and a former fighter pilot, engineer, and astronaut. He served as the agency’s eighth administrator from 1989 to 1992. He was the first ex-astronaut to lead NASA.

Following his departure from NASA, he served as director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory from 1997 to 2005 and the Georgia Tech Research Institute from 1992 to 1997.

Richard was born on November 12, 1937, in Fayette, Mississippi. He studied at segregated schools in Fayette and Meridian, Mississippi. In 1959, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.


Richard was an astronaut, test pilot, and naval aviator. He flew more than 7,500 hours in both military and commercial jet aircraft.

Having participated in Georgia Tech’s Navy ROTC, Truly joined the US Navy on October 7, 1960, and was promptly assigned to flight school. While serving in Fighter Squadron 33 (VF-33) on the USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise, he piloted F-8 Crusaders during his first tour of duty. He made over 300 carrier landings.

Truly attended the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California from 1963 to 1965, first as a student and then as an instructor.

NASA career:

Truly was one of the first military astronauts chosen for the US Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program, which was located in Los Angeles, California, in 1965. In August 1969, he became a member of NASA Astronaut Group 7.

At NASA, he served as an astronaut support crew member and capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for all three crewed Skylab missions in 1973, as well as the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975.

Being the first man to be launched into space on his birthday, he flew three times on one of the two-man crews for the 1977 Approach and Landing Tests of the Space Shuttle Enterprise and on the STS-2 mission in 1981. Truly then became the commander of STS-8 in 1983.

Truly departed NASA following STS-8 to take on the role of Naval Space Command’s first commander. On February 20, 1986, Truly returned to NASA to take on the role of Associate Administrator for Space Flight.

Tributes to Richard H. Truly:

Space Hipsters posted,

Space Hipsters has verified yesterday’s loss of astronaut and NASA administrator Admiral Richard H. Truly. We send our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. Emily Carney is preparing a full obituary.

Tim Gagnon posted,

Saddened to learn that former astronaut and NASA Administrator Adm Richard Truly passed yesterday at age 86.

Searching for Skylab wrote,

Team Skylab remembers NASA astronaut, NASA Administrator, Admiral (ret.) Richard H. Truly, upon his passing. “Dick” Truly served as CapCom for all of the #Skylab missions and was part of the Skylab team. He went on to fly several shuttle missions.

Randy Attwood wrote,

Sorry to learn of the passing of US Astronaut Richard Truly. STS 2, STS 8 astronaut, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight. First astronaut to use CANADARM 1 in space. The STS 2 crew visited the Ontario Science after their November 1981 flight.

Wanda Reece posted,

Sorry to hear this. Praying   for the family.

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