Anthony W. England est un scientifique américain spécialisé en géochimie, géologie et Sciences de la Terre.
Il est sélectionné dans le Groupe 6 de la NASA en 1967.
Il fait partie de l'équipe support de l'équipage lors des missions Apollo 13 et Apollo 16.
Il effectue son unique mission spatiale en 1985 lors de la mission STS-51F (29 juillet au 6 août).
Il aura attendu près de 20 ans pour effectuer une mission spatiale.
Il quitte la NASA en 1988 et est actuellement Professeur dans une Université américaine
Interview réalisée en 2011
Q : How many years were you connected to the space program prior to your flight ?
A : I was an Apollo Scientist Astronaut from 1967-1972 during which I attended Air Force Flight School and served on the support crews for Apollos 13 and 16.
My possible opportunity to fly during Apollo would have been on Apollo 19, but that disappeared when Apollos 18, 19, and 20 were cancelled.
I left NASA in 1972 and spent 7 years with the U.S. Geological Survey as a research geophysicist developing airborne geophysical techniques and participating in and leading geophysical exploration parties in the Antarctic and the Arctic.
I returned to NASA in 1979, flew on Space Shuttle Challenger in 1985, served as Program Scientist for the developing Space Station in 1986-87, was a visiting professor at Rice University in 1987-1988, and accepted a position as Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan in 1988.
Q : How did you feel prior to the flight ?
A : I was very much looking forward to the mission.
Q : What kinds of sensations did you experienced during take-off ?
A : The Space Shuttle does a lot of shaking and rattling until the solids are expended at 2 minutes into powered flight.
The next 6.5 minutes consist of a smooth increasing acceleration until the engines are throttled back to maintain a 3 g acceleration during the last of the 8.5 minutes of powered flight.
Q : What does weightlessness feel like, and what did you think about during the flight ?
A : Weightlessness was very comfortable to the point that one forgets about it.
We worked very hard for the 8 days we were in orbit so there was not much time to be a tourist.
The little time I took as a tourist was spent admiring the Earth.
The view is fantastic.
Q : What were some of the problems you encountered and how did you fixed them ?
A : Ours was the first flight of ESA’s Instrument Pointing System (IPS) and the four solar telescopes on the IPS.
We had many software problems with the control systems of these new systems (they could not be fully tested before flight), but, working as a team with engineers on the ground, we got most of it working well by the end of the flight.
Q : What did you eat, and did it taste real ?
A : We ate food that was very much like camp food.
My tastes did shift to craving spicy foods.
Q : What was re-entry like ?
A : Colorful with the plasma flow over the windows and very much as planned.
Q : Were you glad to be back on Earth, or did you feel you could have spent the rest of your life up there ?
A : Maybe not the rest of my life, but I was definitely sad to have it end.