Loren Acton


1936 –

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Who is Loren Acton?

Loren Wilber Acton is an American physicist who flew on Space Shuttle mission STS-51-F as a Payload Specialist for the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory.

Acton was born in Lewistown, Montana. He went on to receive a bachelor of science degree in Engineering Physics from Montana State University in 1959, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Solar Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1965.

Acton was the senior staff scientist with the Space Sciences Laboratory, Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, California. As a research scientist, his principle duties included conducting scientific studies of the Sun and other celestial objects using advanced space instruments and serving as a co-investigator on one of the Spacelab 2 solar experiments, the Solar Optical Universal Polarimeter. He was selected as one of four payload specialists for Spacelab 2 on August 9, 1978, and after seven years of training he flew on STS-51-F/ Spacelab-2 in 1985. At mission conclusion, Acton had traveled over 2.8 million miles in 126 Earth orbits, logging over 190 hours in space.

Acton is married and has two children. In 2006 he ran in elections to be the state representative of Montana's District 69, as a Democratic candidate. In the event he lost to the Republican incumbent, Jack M. Wells of Belgrade.

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Mar 7, 1936
  • United States of America
  • Montana State University - Bozeman
  • University of Colorado Boulder
Lived in
  • Montana

on July 23, 2013


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