CAPE CANAVERAL -- Most astronauts are about as old as your parents.
But one space flier, Story Musgrave, is old enough to be your grandfather. At 61, Musgrave is one
of NASA's most experienced astronauts and the oldest person to go into space.
After 16 days orbiting Earth, Musgrave got back last week from his final flight, a mission on
shuttle Columbia. The shuttle was scheduled to return Saturday to Kennedy Space Center.
Musgrave made the most of his last time in orbit by enjoying weightlessness and the spectacular
views of the blue Earth beneath the shuttle.
"The experience gets richer all the time," he says. "The first time you go, your eyes are so big
you can hardly get them in your head, you just take it all in, but each time you go, you know more
of what to look for."
Musgrave is a surgeon who also went to college to earn degrees in five other subjects, including
business and computers. He is an experienced pilot and skydiver who likes to read, play chess and
run to keep in shape.
He became famous in 1993 when he helped fix the Hubble Space Telescope, which is in orbit around
Earth examining distant stars and other objects. He has been on four space walks in his career,
racking up more than 26 hours outside the shuttle.
In addition to his talent, America's oldest astronaut is also known for his appetite. Whenever
he's in space, he has shrimp cocktail with every meal because the spicy food wakes up the taste
buds, which seem to be less alive in space. That's probably because body fluids shift upward in
zero gravity, making astronauts' heads feel stuffy and affecting their sense of taste.
"I caught on to shrimp cocktail really early," Musgrave says. "And now I encourage other people
to add it to their menus so they don't eat mine."
Story Musgrave, using a toy shuttle and a pen, answers questions about weightlessness during a
televised interview with CBS during his final mission. Musgrave, 61, is the oldest person to fly
in space and the first to fly on all five shuttles.