William A Pailes

William A Pailes - Updated Jan 2023

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Updated On December 18, 2022

William A Pailes is a retired  USAF astronaut in the Manned Spaceflight Engineer Program during the mid-1980s. Moreover, William A Pailes worked as a Payload Specialist on STS-51-J Atlantis (October 3–7, 1985).

Early Life

William A Pailes was born on the 26th of June 1952, in Hackensack, New Jersey, in the United States of America. According to his date of birth, he is 70 years old and holds American nationality. Pailes has a birth sign of Cancer and believes in Christianity by religion.

His birth name is William Arthur Pailes. However, this former astronaut has not revealed his early childhood life, parents, and siblings.


Regarding his academic career, Pailes completed his graduation from Kinnelon High School in Kinnelon, New Jersey in 1970. Four years later, he got his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

From 1974 to 1975, he trained as an HC-130 rescue pilot in the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona. He attended the Squadron Officer School in 1978. Pailes earned his Master of Science in Computer Science in 1981 from Texas A&M University.

Professional Career

From December 1975 to July 1980, William A Pailes served as an HC-130 pilot in Air Force Rescue at McClellan Air Force Base in California and Royal Air Force Base in Woodbridge, England.

From January 1982 until December 1982, he was the Manager, of minicomputer operating systems software development at Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. He worked as a Manned Spaceflight Engineer in the USAF Manned Spaceflight Engineering Program, Los Angeles Air Force Station, California, from January 1983.

William A Pailes

Caption: William A Pailes with his camera and clicking photo of earth’s surface (Source: NASA)

He was a payload specialist on STS-51-J Atlantis, which launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California on October 3-7, 1985. STS-51-J was the Space Shuttle Department of Defense’s second mission. It was also the first flight of the Atlantis orbiter.

Pailes recorded more than 97 hours in space and covered over 1.6 million miles in 64 Earth orbits. From August 2002 through 2011, he worked as a JROTC Senior Aerospace Science Instructor for the AFJROTC Program in Corsicana, Texas. From August 2011 until 2019, he worked as a JROTC Senior Aerospace Science Instructor for the AFJROTC Program in Temple, Texas.


As of now, this former astronaut has not earned any kind of awards or recognition in his career. Looking at his contribution to this field, we may assume that, Pailes might earn some awards or recognition in the following years.

William A Pailes – Net Worth 2022

Working as an astronaut for several years, this retired astronaut has collected a good sum of money in his career. As of 2022, his net worth estimates at around $100,000 to $1 million and has not revealed his salary and earnings.

Relationship Status

Talking about his personal life, William A Pailes is a married man and has a kid from the marriage. However, this man has not yet revealed his wife and child’s name in public. Currently, Pailes and his family live in Missouri. Moreover, this former astronaut has not been a part of controversy or rumors and likes to keep a distance from such things.

Body Measurements

This former astronaut has light green eyes with white hair color. Moreover, there are not much more details regarding his height, weight, and other body measurements.

William A Pailes

Caption: William A Pailes with his astronaut friend in the Space station (Source: Twitter)

William A Pailes – Social Media

This retired astronaut is not active on social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Moreover, Pailes likes to avoid social media sites and likes to live a private life.


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