Paul Weitz, astronaut, dies

Paul J. WeitzFormer NASA astronaut Paul J. Weitz dies at the age of 85 after battling cancer. Originally assigned to an Apollo lunar mission that was cancelled, Weitz’s first spaceflight was as the pilot of the first manned mission to the Skylab space station, which had suffered critical damage during launch. Weitz and crewmates Pete Conrad and Joe Kerwin had to undertake risky spacewalks to salvage the station, and stayed in orbit for 28 days, an endurance record in 1973. Weitz returned to orbit as the commander of Space Shuttle Challenger‘s first flight in 1983, and remained at NASA until 1994.