Astronaut Who Rescued Stranded Satellite to Leave NASA for Commercial Space Firm

United Press International

Astronaut Joseph Allen, who rescued a 1,265-pound stranded satellite in November by flying over to it with a jet backpack, said Wednesday he is resigning from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration effective July 1.

Allen, 48, a physicist who was selected an astronaut-scientist in August, 1967, will become executive vice president of Space Industries Inc. The Houston firm is pursuing ventures in the commercial use of space.

He flew on two space missions--the first fully operational flight of the shuttle in 1982 and the spectacular salvage mission of two $35-million satellites.