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Scientist Obituary: William Pogue, the "Earthiest of All Astronauts"

The Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

William Pogue was an astronaut whose openness and candor subverted the traditional image of the stoic NASA hero. Pogue favored a regular-guy approach. He was one of the very few astronauts to ever go on strike – while in orbit – after his busy schedule prevented him from taking time to contemplate the beauty outside of the spacecraft, to “look out the window and think.”

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William Pogue. Photo Credit: NASA

Pogue also spoke openly about the less glamorous realities of space travel, and wrote a children’s book entitled “How Do You Go To the Bathroom in Space?”

His down-to-earth demeanor caused one writer to deem him “the earthiest of all the astronauts.”

Pogue also took part in the longest manned mission of his time, and was particularly proud of contributing to spacecraft improvements in toilets, showers, and a line of special plastic sacks known as “vomitus bags.”

Read more about Pogue’s accomplishments in his New York Times obituary .