Air Force Major Paul Andrew Sefchek
1946 - 1997
Air Force Major Paul Sefchek was a member of the first group of Department of Defense Manned Spaceflight Engineers chosen in February 1980. He was born on July 7, 1946, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby Woodbridge. He attended Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, earning a B.S. in Astronautics in 1968.
Following graduation from Stevens he entered the Air Force through the ROTC Program and spent four years at the Satellite Control Facility (now Onizuka AFB) in Sunnyvale, California. In 1973 he was assigned to the Engineering Management Program at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia from which he graduated and received an M.B.A. In 1975, following graduate school, he was assigned to the Special Projects Office at Los Angeles AFS as a systems project officer and then in 1980 was chosen for the Manned Spacelight Engineers Program where he served first as chief systems engineer and later as deputy program manager for the CIRRUS sensor package in STS-4, the first DOD Shuttle mission. Had CIRRUS flown on an "Operational" Shuttle mission as opposed to a "flight test", Paul would have been the likely payload specialist. A second CIRRUS was scheduled for the first Vandenberg launched Shuttle mission and again Paul was a candidate. However, when the Challenger disaster delayed the CIRRUS's second flight, Paul became the chief of the carrier integration division of the Space Division's Space Test Program, overseeing all of that agency's projects scheduled for launch on Shuttle or for expendable vehicle flights.
Major Sefchek retired from the Air Force in July 1989 and joined Trident Data Systems in Los Angeles as senior director of the government systems group and President of Advanced Computer Technology. He later became Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for International Meta Systems, Inc.
Major Sefchek became seriously ill in 1996 and ultimately expired on July 24, 1997. He is survived by his spouse of 25 years, the former Carol Lynne Jensen, as well as his mother Mary and brother John.