Skip to main content

Paul J. Weitz papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 172
The Paul J. Weitz papers (1976-1994; .5 cubic feet) document the time Weitz spent as a U.S. astronaut and as Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  The collection contains 11 notebooks that were used by Weitz to record day-to-day meeting notes and tasks. The first entry is April of 1976 and the last entry is January of 1994.  The notebooks contain information about The Challenger accident and Weitz’s response to the incident from the day it happened and document what the administration did for the families and general public in the wake of the accident.    The Paul J. Weitz papers are organized into 1 series: 11 notebooks contained in one 0.5 cubic feet Mss box.


  • 1976-1994
  • Other: Date acquired: 08/11/2013


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Purdue University by deed of gift.


0.50 Cubic Feet

1 mss._boxes


Personal notebooks of Paul J. Weitz during his career at NASA. These notebooks document Weitz’s day-to-day activities and accomplishments. Also included are notes from various meetings he attended.

Biographical / Historical

Paul J. Weitz was born July 25, 1932 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Weitz graduated from Harborcreek High School in Harborcreek, Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree on a Navy ROTC scholarship in aeronautical engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1954. Weitz earned his Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, in 1964.

Weitz was called to duty during the Vietnam War in 1965. He was deployed to the western Pacific and flew A-3s on combat missions. In May of 1966 Weitz was chosen as part of NASA’s fifth group of astronauts. One of Weitz first assignments was the support crew for Apollo 12.

From 1966 to 1973 Weitz did not have a flight assignment. His first flight assignment was for Sky Lab 2. This was the first manned mission to Sky Lab after its initial launch on 14 May 1973. Sky Lab 2 launched on 25 May 1973 with astronauts Pete Conrad, Paul Weitz, and Joseph Kerwin. Their main task was to fix problems with a failed heat shield that did not deploy properly making the inside of the space station too warm.

After Skylab 2, Weitz was selected by NASA to be space craft commander on the Space Shuttle Program’s 6th flight, “Space Transportation System – 6” (STS-6). Launched on 4 April, 1983, STS-6 was the shuttle Challenger’s maiden flight. STS-6 spent 120 hours in Space conducting various experiences including, EVAs, recording lighting activities, and carried three experiments designed by university students called “Getaway Specials.” These experiments were small, compact canisters that allowed for groups or individuals to conduct experiments in micro-gravity on board the Shuttles.

Weitz held the position of Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1981 to 1987, he was the Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center from 1987 until 1993, the Acting Center Director of the Johnson Space Center from 1993 until 1994, and Weitz held the position of Acting Associate Center Director of the Johnson Space Center when he retired from NASA in 1994.

Sources: “Astronaut Bio: Paul J. Weitz” NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, July 1994. Web. />

“Oral History Project Participants – complete list.” NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, March 5, 2002. Web. />


Source of Acquisition

Donated by Paul J. Weitz

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

multi-part note content

Processing Information

The notebooks have been placed in a manuscript box with plastic bubble-wrap for padding.  They have also been placed in chronological order.  All paperclips have been removed.
Paul J. Weitz papers
Max Campbell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States