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 Manley Lanier “Sonny” Carter

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Manley Lanier “Sonny” Carter

  • Birth 15 Aug 1947 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, USA
  • Death 5 Apr 1991 Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia, USA
  • Burial Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia, USA
  • Memorial ID 12683

American Astronaut. He was born in Macon, Georgia, but considered Warner Robins, Georgia, his home. He received a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from Emory University in 1969, and a doctor of medicine degree from Emory University in 1973. While he was attending Emory, he played professional soccer from 1970 to 1973 for the Atlanta Chiefs of the NASL. After he graduated, he completed a straight internal medicine internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. In July 1974 he entered the United States Navy and completed flight surgeon school in Pensacola, Florida. After serving tours as a flight surgeon with the 1st and 3rd Marine Air Wings, he returned to flight training in Beeville, Texas, and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1978. He was assigned as the senior medical officer of USS Forrestal, and in March 1979 completed F-4 training at VMFAT-101 Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona. He was subsequently reassigned as a fighter pilot to duty flying F-4 phantoms with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 333 at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. In 1981 he completed a 9-month Mediterranean cruise aboard USS Forrestal with VMFA-115. In September 1982 he attended United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and then served as 2nd Marine Air Wing standardization officer and F-4 combat readiness evaluator at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. He then attended the United States Naval Test Pilot School, graduating in June 1984. He logged 3,000 flying hours and 160 carrier landings. Selected by NASA in May 1984, he became an astronaut in June 1985, and qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. He was assigned as Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Representative for the Mission Development Branch of the Astronaut Office when selected to the crew of STS-33. The STS-33 crew launched, at night, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 22, 1989, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission carried Department of Defense payloads and other secondary payloads. After 79 orbits of the earth, this five-day mission concluded on November 27, 1989 with a hard surface landing on Runway 04 at Edwards Air Force Base, California. With the completion of his first mission, he logged 120 hours in space. He died near Brunswick, Georgia, in the crash of a commercial airplane while on NASA business travel. Also on board the plane was golfer Davis Love Sr. and John Tower, the former Senator from Texas and head of the Tower Commission that studied the National Security Council's actions during the Iran-Contra Affair. Tower's daughter, Marian, and his entourage were also killed. A total of 23 people were killed in the crash, which occurred when the plane's left propeller control unit malfunctioned. At the time of his death, he has risen to the rank of Captain, and had been assigned as a mission specialist on the crew of STS-42, the first International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-1). He is one of 24 astronauts that are honored by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 25 Sep 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12683
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Manley Lanier “Sonny” Carter (15 Aug 1947–5 Apr 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12683, citing Alta Vista Cemetery, Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .