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Oklahoma astronaut William Pogue dies at 84

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Photo: NASA

Photo: NASA

OKEMAH, Okla. – Oklahoma astronaut William Pogue has passed away. He was 84.

According to NASA, the Okemah native piloted the Skylab 4 mission 1973-1974.

It was the third and final manned visit to the Skylab orbital workshop which launched November 1973 and returned February 1974.

The 84-day mission was the longest manned space flight to that date, according to NASA.

Pogue talked about the mission in an interview in 2000.

“I didn’t think we were going to launch, you know? We’d had so many problems,” he said. “I was sitting there, and finally when we were at thirty seconds, I thought, well, maybe. It’s a lot of noise.”

Pogue graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1951 and enlisted in the Air Force where he flew combat missions in Korea.

He eventually earned a Master of Science degree in math from Oklahoma State University in 1960.

NASA selected Pogue as an astronaut in 1966.

He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1997.

MORE: See more about Pogue and his time in space from NASA