William F. Fisher is an American physician and a former NASA astronaut. Fisher went into space in 1985 on board the Space Shuttle. He retired from NASA in 1992 and returned to the full-time practice of medicine. His time at NASA coincided with that of his former wife and fellow astronaut Anna Lee Fisher.
Fisher was born April 1, 1946, in Dallas, TX He graduated high school in Syracuse, NY, then attended Stanford University before entering medical school at the University of Florida.
He married fellow physician and later fellow astronaut, Anna Lee Fisher of St. Albans, NY on Aug. 23, 1977. They have two daughters, Kristin Anne (b. July 29, 1983), who is a Washington D.C.-based correspondent for the Fox News Channel, and Kara Lynne (b. Jan. 10, 1989) who received her MBA degree in May, 2017 from SMU in Dallas.
Dr. Fisher collects Bill Graham Fillmore, Family Dog, and other rock/concert music posters from the 1965-1973 time frame. He is an amateur luthier, specializing in making, repairing, and refinishing Neapolitan-style mandolins. Dr. Fisher is also the owner of Twenty-First Century Arms, a sporting goods company, and is both a Federal Firearms Licensee and NFA Firearms Dealer.
After graduating from Stanford in 1968, he served as a mountaineering instructor in Leysin, Switzerland. Following his graduation from medical school in 1975, he completed a surgical residency from 1975 to 1977 at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. He entered private practice in emergency medicine in 1977. He also attended graduate school at the University of Houston from 1978 to 1980. He has logged over 2,000 hours in prop, rotary-wing, jet aircraft and spacecraft.
Fisher was selected as NASA astronaut in 1980. His technical assignments included: scientific equipment operator for high altitude research on the WB-57F aircraft (1980–1981); astronaut medical support for the first four Shuttle missions (1980–1982); astronaut office representative for Extravehicular Mobility Unit (spacesuit) and Extravehicular Activity (EVA) procedures and development, including thermal vacuum testing of the suit (1981–1984); astronaut office representative for the Payload Assist Module (PAM-D) procedures and development (1982–1983); Astronaut office representative for Shuttle Mission Simulator (SMS) development (1983); support crewman for STS-8; CAPCOM for STS-8 and STS-9; Remote Manipulator System (RMS) hardware and software development team (1983); Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) development team (1983); Deputy Director of NASA Government-furnished and Contractor-furnished Equipment (1982–1983); Chief of Astronaut Public Appearances (1985–1987); Member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (1986–1991); NASA Medicine Policy Board (1987–1991); Astronaut Office Space Station Manned Systems Division, and Health Maintenance Facility (1987–1989); Astronaut Office representative on space crew selection and retention standards for Space Station (1989–1991). Fisher also continued to practice Emergency Medicine in the greater Houston area in conjunction with his Astronaut duties.
Fisher was a mission specialist on STS-51-I, which launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Aug. 27, 1985. STS-51-I was acknowledged as the most successful Space Shuttle mission yet flown. The crew aboard Space Shuttle Space Shuttle Discovery deployed three communications satellites, the Navy SYNCOM IV-4, the Australian AUSSAT, and American Satellite Company’s ASC-1. They also performed a successful on-orbit rendezvous with the ailing 15,400 pound SYNCOM IV-3 satellite, and two EVAs (space walks) by Fisher and van Hoften to repair it, including the longest space walk in history (at that time). Discovery completed 112 orbits of the Earth before landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California, on Sept. 3, 1985. Fisher logged over 170 hours in space, including 11 hours and 52 minutes of Extravehicular Activity (EVA).
After leaving NASA, Fisher returned to the practice of emergency medicine. Currently, Dr. Fisher practices full-time at Elite Care 24/7 ER- League City.