This NASA astronaut and scientist was involved in the missions surrounding the Space Shuttle Columbia's fifth flight (STS-5) and the Space Shuttle Discovery's second flight (STS-51-A). In addition, during the mid-1970s, he was NASA's Washington, D.C.-based Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs.
After earning his bachelor's degree in Physics and Mathematics from DePauw University, he received an M.S. and a PhD in Physics from Yale University and went on to become a researcher at the University of Washington's Nuclear Physics Laboratory. He began working for NASA in late 1967.
Portrayed by actor Doug McKeon, Allen was featured in a miniseries titled From the Earth to the Moon.
He grew up in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He and his wife Bonnie Jo Darling welcomed a son named David in 1968 and a daughter named Elizabeth in 1972.
He and fellow astronaut Dale Gardner were both on the crew of NASA's STS 51-A mission.