Jake Skywalker: A Senator boards the shuttle

A Senator boards the shuttle

As chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees NASA's budget, Jake Garn once joked that if he did not get to fly on the space shuttle, he would not appropriate "another cent" to the agency. When NASA obligingly ticketed him for a trip, critics accused Garn of using his political clout to hitch a costly joyride--the ultimate congressional junket. But the Utah Republican dismissed such carping as "sour grapes." After undergoing four months of intensive training to prove that he had the right stuff, Garn blasted off aboard the 16th U.S. shuttle mission last Friday.

With its crew of five astronauts,...

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