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  Flight Director Pete Frank killed in car crash

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Author Topic:   Flight Director Pete Frank killed in car crash
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-23-2005 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim Oberg shares the tragic news that Apollo-Soyuz Test Project flight director Pete Frank has been killed in a car accident.
Note from Ed Fendell (Apollo INCO) relayed by Ken Young:

I just returned from Memorial Herman Hospital. Pete and Bobbie Frank were in a very bad car accident and were taken by Life Flight to Memorial Herman.

They were unable to save Pete, and Bobbie is in Neurological ICU in critical condition.

Danno
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posted 06-23-2005 08:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It should be noted that Pete Frank (Orange Flight) also was a flight director on Apollo 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 17. Not sure why you just used ASTP but he was FD on a lot more important missions.

He was also a nice guy. Thanks for letting us know.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-23-2005 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Jim (Oberg) highlighted ASTP because Frank led the planning for that mission, or as the National Air and Space Museum described Frank when highlighting his contribution to aerospace in 1975, "for [his] successful direction of this pioneering international manned space flight under the tremendous difficulties imposed by the nature of the mission."

I did try to find a NASA biography or similar record of his career but what is available is limited. Can I ask where you found the missions he served? (Thanks for adding that info to this thread, though).

Michael Cassutt
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posted 06-23-2005 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Cassutt   Click Here to Email Michael Cassutt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pete Frank was also a finalist in the 1966 astronaut selection.

J_Geenty
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posted 06-24-2005 04:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for J_Geenty   Click Here to Email J_Geenty     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Can I ask where you found the missions he served?
Not sure if this is the source that was used, but the online version of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" has a list in appendix 5.

Danno
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posted 06-24-2005 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I did try to find a NASA biography or similar record of his career but what is available is limited. Can I ask where you found the missions he served? (Thanks for adding that info to this thread, though).

The above book was my reference. I did a lot of research while I was sending requests to the FDs. I found all the FDs were very down-to-Earth nice guys. They are unsung heros to me.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-24-2005 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hadn't noticed that appendix entry before, its greatly appreciated. I surely agree that the flight directors, let alone the guys in the trench, are unsung heroes. It would be great if there was a "Who's Who in Mission Control" that would follow the careers of everyone who ever sat behind a console or in a back room.

Danno
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posted 06-24-2005 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About the only other references on FDs are the books by Gene Kranz and Sy Liebergot.

The appendix in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was the only place I found a listing of the FDs, their shifts and missions. Before that I was asking Gene Kranz who has an encyclopedic knowledge of such things. It even took me quite a while to just figure out their "colors".

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 06-24-2005 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do have a document that identifies all their "colors" (through shuttle and ISS) as well as a FD list for STS-1 through STS-112. With the addition of the WNMHGB appendix, that completes the FD mission assignments. I'm happy to share the "colors" and STS/ISS data with anyone who desires the reference.

kyra
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posted 06-24-2005 08:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That sounds like an excellent reference. Is it in a .pdf format? I would love to see it.

spaceman1953
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From: South Bend, IN United States of America
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posted 06-24-2005 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This probably doesn't belong "here" but that appendix tells a lot of other stuff. Quickly glancing through it, it shows A-11 launch as 8:32 am and the notes say this is Eastern time, which would certainly be valid for the Cape but wasn't the Apollo 11 launch clearly at 9:32 am and not 8:32 am? In fact the launch commentator at the time says "9:32 am. Liftoff of Apollo 11".

pokey
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posted 06-27-2005 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's his obituary from the Houston Chronicle.

I met Pete and his wife a few times and went away thinking how good and decent they were. I believe that someone told me that MP were letters and not initials for names. He just called himself Pete. Hope Mrs. Frank comes through OK.

P.S. You can sign the electronic guest book for Pete from the link.

oildriver579
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posted 06-28-2005 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oildriver579   Click Here to Email oildriver579     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pete Frank was my uncle. It has really hit hard. When he was with NASA, I got to go to a lot of places that the guided tours didn't. Bobbie is already out of the hospital. The funeral was today and the burial will be tomorrow. It was astonishing and gratifying to see all the people who came to pay their respects. I will miss him a lot.

snf13
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posted 06-29-2005 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for snf13   Click Here to Email snf13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the update on Bonnie. And peace be with you and your family in this difficult time from a fellow West Texan.

God Bless.

All times are CT (US)

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