Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Real Top Gun: Scott "Scooter" Altman U.S. Navy Test Pilot & NASA Astronaut

...Rolex NASA Coolness...


Scott "Scooter" Altman

U.S. Navy Test Pilot & NASA Astronaut

What is more exciting that discovering another NASA Astronaut who wore his Rolex in Space? Scott "Scooter" Altman is one of the most experienced U.S. Navy Test Pilots and NASA Astronauts in history as he flew on four Space Shuttle Missions. 

Top Gun

Scott Altman was enrolled at the U.S. Navy's Topgun School located at Air Station Marimar. Scott worked as one of the lead stunt pilots in the movie 1986 movie Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise. Scott stunt-doubled Tom Cruise's character 'Maverick' as he flew an F-14 fighter jet during the aerobatic flight sequences. We see Scott 'flipping the bird' in the video excerpt below from Top Gun, which makes Scott one of the most famous middle finger flippers in history.

In a 2000 NASA interview just before his spaceflight aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-106 Scott Altman said: 

"Well, Top Gun was a real thrill. I still remember that so vividly. The word was going around town that Hollywood was coming to Miramar, where I was stationed, and they were going to do a movie, and we were all kind of excited. My squadron had just gotten back from a seven-and-a-half-month cruise about a week and a half before, so our airplanes were at home, we were available, we weren't too highly tasked. And it turned out they picked my squadron to supply the F-14s.

Then the skipper got together and tried to pick four guys that he thought, were mature enough, I guess, to handle, you know, the capability that they were being given in working with the movie, and all the things that were required. And the director wanted to have a small cadre of people that he could work with so you develop an understanding of what the movie folks want versus what we can do and how to try and balance those two requirements.

The flying was incredible. You know, most Navy pilots don't get to buzz the tower like in the movie – if you did you could just peel your wings off and, throw 'em at the door because you probably wouldn't be flying anymore – but, since it was Hollywood, you know, they wanted the scene. I had to buzz the tower. And, of course, they wanted nine different takes – so we did it nine times!"

I Feel The Need...

...The Need For Speed!

Val Kilmer is pictured below in the original Top Gun movie and we see him rocking his GMT-Master.

Tom Cruise recently reprized his role as Maverick in the Top Gun Maverick which is scheduled to be released in June 2020.

Scott Altman was a Top Gun in the U.S. Navy where he flew fighters off the deck of aircraft carriers. He went on to become a NASA Astronaut and flew on four different Space Shuttle Missions. 

Scott was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2018. In 1998 he flew as a pilot on Space Shuttle Atlantis aboard STS-90, which was a 16-day mission for the European Space Agency's Spacelab Laboratory. In the photo below taken aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia we see Scott Altman orbiting earth as seen out the Space Shuttle cockpit window, and notice he is playing with his Rolex Submariner.

In 2000 Scott served as a Pilot aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-106, which was an 11-day mission that flew to the International Space Station, which prepared for the arrival of the first Expedition. This mission successfully delivered close to three tons of payload cargo from the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station and it the photo below we see Scott Altman rocking his Root Beer GMT-Master. Nick Gould discovered this image and sent it to me after I published this story. The caption reads:

STS106-388-025 (8-20 September 2000) — Astronaut Scott D. Altman, STS-106 pilot, works on a laptop computer in the SPACEHAB Logistics Double Module onboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

In 2002 Scott served at the Commander of Space Shuttle STS-109 which serviced the Hubble Space Telescope, and completed a series of spacewalks while setting a new record at 35 hours and 55 minutes.

In 2009 Scott was again the Commander of Space Shuttle Atlantis for the STS-125 (pictured below) which was the final Hubble Space Telescope service mission.

The 2009 photo below shows Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-125 taking off as she heads for the heavens.

In the photo below we see the Hubble Space Telescope docked inside the cargo bay of the Space Station Atlantis after it was captured and locked-down in the bay as it spins above earth which we see in the background.

In the photo below we see NASA Astronauts at they prepare to elevate the Remote Manipulator Arm (RMS) to the top fo the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in order to install protective covers on the magnetometers. 

In the photo below we see Space Shuttle Atlantis crew members working on the Hubble Space Telescope with earth in the background.

In this next photo we see the Hubble Space Telescope after it was released back into space after being repaired and updated aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

In the photo below we see Scott Altman successfully landing Space Shuttle Atlantis after the STS-125 mission. 

In the next photo below we see the Space Shuttle Atlantis which is perched on top to a modified Boeing 747 which is flying it back to Florida from California after it landed at Edwards Air Force Base.

The NASA photo below of STS-125 Commander, Scott Altman was taken on January 1, 2010 as he spoke at a press conference and notice he is wearing his stainless steel Rolex Submariner.

The photo below of the Orion Nebula was taken in January 2006 by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope which was successfully repaired and updated as part of the Scott Altaman's STS-125 Mission.

Special thanks to Philip from MoonWatchUniverse for sending in this photo of Scott rocking his Root beer GMT-Master while piloting the Space Shuttle.

Philip wrote: "Spaceflight & wristwatch fans know that astronaut Scott "Scooter" Altman loved his Rolex watches... wearing several Rolex watches on each of his 4 spaceflight missions!"

"18 years ago... March 2002, Commander Scott Altman gives thumbs up in the cockpit of space shuttle Columbia during mission STS-109, the 4th Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.
Note he wore his personal Rolex GMT-master Rootbeer pilotwatch, together with the NASA-issued sleep-wake monitor actiwatch at his left wrist."