Puzzle: First Lawyer in Space

Who was the first lawyer to go to space?

(“Space” is defined as flight above 100 km [Kármán line] and “lawyer” means having received a law degree prior to the flight.)

Please surround your answers with [spoiler] … [/spoiler] so other can choose to view or continue on their own. I will post the answer in the comments if nobody gets it before midnight UTC on 2022-02-02.

Did they leave him there ? :wink:


OK, nobody got it (or even tried), so here you go. I’ll put this in a spoiler block just in case somebody comes across this later and wants to try their hand.

The first lawyer to fly in space was Bill Nelson, who was, at the time of his flight on Columbia mission STS-61C in January 1986, a Democrat congressman representing the 11th district of Florida. Nelson received a JD degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1968 and was admitted to the Florida bar the same year. Nelson was appointed NASA administrator in March 2021 and assumed that office on May 3, 2021. He is the incumbent NASA adminstrator.

Coincidentally, Charles Bolden, who was the pilot on that flight, also went on to serve as NASA administrator from 2009 to 2017.


A slightly updated form of an old joke:
Q: What do you call 50 lawyers marooned in space?
A: A good start. :grinning: