Charles D. Walker


Born in Bedford, Indiana, August 29, 1948. Married to the former Susan Y. Flowers, of Joplin, Missouri. They have one daughter, one granddaughter and one grandson. Recreational interests include photography, walking, travel, reading, and book collecting. His mother, Donna Lake Walker, resides in Bedford; his father is deceased.


Graduated from Bedford High School, Bedford, Indiana (1966); received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University (1971).


U.S. Patent No. 4,394,246, Electrophoresis Apparatus with Flow Control, issued 19 July 1983; NASA Space Flight Medal (1984, and twice in 1985); Sagamore of the Wabash, State of Indiana (November 1984); Doctor of Science, honoris causa, St. Louis College of Pharmacy (1985); Aerospace Laurels Award, Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine (1985); Lindbergh Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) - St. Louis Section (1986); NASA Group Achievement Award, as consultant to the 1987-88 Space Station Operations Task Force; Engineering Astronaut Alumnus Award, Purdue University Schools of Engineering (September 1989); Kentucky Colonel, Commonwealth of Kentucky (May 1990).


Following graduation from Purdue University he worked as a civil engineering technician, land acquisition specialist and forest firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. Subsequently he was a design engineer with the Bendix Aerospace Company where he worked on aerodynamic analysis, missile subsystem design, and flight testing. He also was employed as project engineer with the Naval Sea Systems Command with responsibility for computer-controlled manufacturing systems.

Mr. Walker joined the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 1977 as a test engineer on the Aft Propulsion Subsystem for the Space Shuttle orbiters. He joined the Space Manufacturing (later named Electrophoresis Operations in Space, EOS) team as one of its original members. He shares in a patent for the McDonnell Douglas developed continuous flow electrophoresis (CFES) device.

From 1979 to 1986, he was Chief Test Engineer and Payload Specialist Astronaut for the McDonnell Douglas EOS commercialization project. Mr. Walker led the EOS laboratory test and operations team developing biomedical products. His contributions to the program included engineering planning, design and development, product research, and space flight and evaluation of the CFES device. As a McDonnell Douglas employee he was extensively involved in private industry payload preparation and on-pad processing support activities at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and in flight support at the Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas. He was responsible for training the NASA astronaut crews in the operation of the CFES payload on STS-4, STS-6, STS-7, and STS-8 shuttle flights during 1982 and 1983. Confirmed by NASA in 1983 as the first private astronaut Mr. Walker trained as a payload specialist astronaut, then accompanied the McDonnell Douglas CFES equipment as a crew member on Space Shuttle missions 41-D, 51-D, and 61-B, accumulating 20 days of experience in space and traveling 8.2 million miles. Aboard these Space Shuttle missions as the first paying, working passenger to space, Mr. Walker also performed early protein crystal growth experiments and participated as a test subject in numerous medical studies.

In May 1986, Mr. Walker was appointed Special Assistant to the President of McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company, working in Washington, D.C. in program development and government relations.

Since 1986 Mr. Walker has served as an industry representative in various NASA study and review team capacities including as a member of the NASA Microgravity Material Science Assessment Task Force, the NASA Space Station Office Quick-is-Beautiful/Rapid Response Research Study Group, the NASA Space Station Operations Task Force, and the International Space Station Strategic Roadmap Committee. Walker has been a national panel member of the NASA/Industry Manned Flight Awareness Program and the NASA/Industry Education Initiative. He has been a member of the National Research Council's Space Applications Board and most recently its Space Studies Board’s committee on The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon. Mr. Walker was Faculty Course Advisor and lecturer for the International Space University 1988 summer session. He was a participant in the 1988 Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies civil Space policy study. He served on the AIAA steering committee formulating the strategic plan for NASA's office of Commercial Programs. Mr. Walker has served as a founding board member of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. He was the organizing committee chairman for the 1992 World Space Congress. Mr. Walker advised the NASA/Purdue University space life support research center, a NASA/Penn State space commercial development center and a U.S. Department of Education/Ohio State University science education center. He is a board director of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Mr. Walker has served as the volunteer chairman of the board of directors of Spacecause, and is past president and board director of the National Space Society. He is also currently serving on the executive committee of the Association of Space Explorers. Walker is a professional engineer registered in California. He has authored several papers and book contributions on the EOS electrophoresis program, space development, commercialization, and space history. Mr. Walker has also written columns and articles appearing in national newspapers and numerous other publications.  As an expert witness he has spoken before committees of the U.S. Congress.

Mr. Walker is currently a consultant, author, lecturer and grandfather.    


ASE Collectibles with Charlie Walker's signature:


III Congress, V Congress, VII Congress, VIII Congress, IX Congress, X Congress, XI Congress, XII Congress, XIII Congress, XIV Congress, XV Congress, XVI Congress, XVIII Congress, XIX Congress, XX Congress



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