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  Man accused of stealing Sally Ride's flight suit

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Author Topic:   Man accused of stealing Sally Ride's flight suit
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-09-2010 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE:
Man accused of stealing Sally Ride's flight suit, other space artifacts

A light blue flight suit worn by Sally Ride as she trained to be the first American woman in space is among several NASA artifacts that Calvin Dale Smith, 56, of Houston has been charged with stealing, according to documents filed by space agency agents in federal court.

In addition to Ride's suit, which includes her name tag and the mission patch for her 1983 historic flight aboard space shuttle Challenger, Smith was indicted by a grand jury for knowingly receiving, concealing and retaining parts from a shuttle airlock, a safety tether assembly, a twice flown in space Omega watch and an astronaut flight jacket, among other items of government property totaling nearly $10,000 in value.

Now in federal custody and with representation by a public defender, Smith pleaded not guilty Thursday, May 27 in a Houston, Texas federal courtroom.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-17-2010 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Attorney's Office release
Former NASA Contract Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing Astronaut Flight Suit

A former NASA contract employee responsible for the maintenance of astronaut flight suits has pleaded guilty to stealing a NASA flight suit and other property belong to the United States, U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno announced today.

Charged first by criminal complaint and formally indicted in May 2010, Calvin Dale Smith, 56, of Houston, today pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Nancy F. Atlas to having stolen and concealed property belonging to NASA which included a flight suit valued at more than $1000 and various specialized machined parts valued at approximately $7,372. According to the criminal complaint filed in this case, the flight suit bore the name patch of Sally Ride -- the first female U.S. astronaut in space -- and the machined parts included an ERCM safety tether assembly and three airlock parts.

The stolen property was recovered on May 5, 2009, by agents of NASA's Office of Inspector General (NASA-OIG) following the execution of a federal search warrant at Smith's residence on Richvale Lane in Houston. The agents discovered the NASA flight suit and various NASA machined parts in Smith's personal suitcase concealed in a room in which Smith had installed an alarm. The investigation leading to the recovery of the stolen NASA property was initiated after the FBI notified NASA-OIG of a report by Smith's estranged wife of having discovered what she suspected to be stolen NASA property in a suitcase in which Smith maintained personal items.

Smith faces a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $250,000 at sentencing. Judge Atlas has set sentencing for Nov. 2, 2010. Smith has been permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James McAlister is prosecuting the case.

Greggy_D
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Posts: 788
From: Michigan
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 10-27-2010 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How was the determination made that the stolen Ride suit was her training suit and not the actual flight suit flown on STS-7? Were there any indicators on the ILC label attached to the suit?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-27-2010 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ILC label did have a handwritten notation ("T") on it but the primary indicator was the configuration of the suit's name tag and patches.

Ride wore the "Sally K. Ride" name tag during training. In space, her name tag read simply "Sally."

Further, her flown suit had the NASA "meatball" patch sewn below the name tag and NASA "worm" on her right arm, whereas her training suit only had the worm.

All times are CT (US)

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