Joe Engle signed photo
Engle, one of twelve pilots to fly the X15, was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He was back-up lunar module pilot for the Apollo 14 mission and was due to land on the moon as lunar module pilot for Apollo 17, but was replaced by geologist Harrison Schmitt after Apollo 18 was cancelled with pressure from the scientific community to have a scientist explore the Moon, and not just test pilots who had been given geology training.
He was commander of one of the two crews that flew the Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Test Flights from June through October 1977. The Space Shuttle Enterprise was carried to 25,000 feet on top of the Boeing 747 carrier aircraft, and then released for its two minute glide flight to landing.
Engle and Richard Truly flew the second flight of the Space Shuttle that was boosted into orbit. He was the back-up commander for STS-1, the first orbital test flight of Space Shuttle Columbia. He was spacecraft commander on STS-2 and STS-51-I, and has logged over 225 hours in space.