Biographical Data

Mr. E. Barton Geer

Mr. Geer was born April 28, 1919, in Rockwell, Iowa. He attended Iowa public schools and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State College in 1942, at which time he joined the Langley Research Center. From 1942 to 1950, Mr. Geer designed and developed vacuum systems, high pressure air systems, air dryers, refrigeration systems and heat exchangers. In 1950, Mr. Geer became Group Leader of the Mechanical Engineering Group and he held this position for six years. In 1956, Mr. Geer was made Head of the Systems Engineering Section, supervising twenty-five specialists and engineers in the field of thermodynamic, pressure and fluid systems. In addition, he directed the detail design of the 9 foot x 6 foot Thermal Structures air storage and supervised investigation of materials and design methods for obtaining air temperatures up to 5,000 degrees F.

In 1960, Mr. Geer was made Branch Head of Systems Engineering Branch, consisting of 60 specialists and engineers working on systems and controls.

In 1961, Mr. Geer was named Associate Chief of the Flight Vehicle and Systems Division, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. He was responsible for directing and reviewing the design and development work of the three Branches of this Division covering mechanical, structural, dynamic analysis, reliability, qualification testing of spacecraft systems and subsystems. Included are considerations of thermal balance, life support, cryogenics, hypergolic, hydrogen peroxide and cold gas control systems, deployment devices, structures, dynamic vehicles and reentry and orbiting payloads.

In January 1964, Mr. Geer was named Chairman of the Scout Vehicle Design Environmental and Quality Control Committee which consisted of 10 members to review the relationship among design, environment, quality control, testing and operations on the reliability of the total Scout Vehicle System. In September 1964, he was appointed Chairman of the structural, mechanical, electrical and pyrotechnic committee to review the related systems of the Pegasus Project. In 1965, Mr. Geer was appointed Chairman of a committee to review the systems, reliability and operational status of the Explorer Injun IV spacecraft. On Project Fire, he participated in the design and flight reviews of the spacecraft and directed the design and review of the tracking telespectrograph. On the Lunar Orbiter Spacecraft, Mr. Geer participated in all the Preliminary and Critical Design reviews.

Mr. Geer retired from NASA in December 1981. Since retiring from NASA, he worked with Martin-Marietta, Baltimore and Fluidyne Engineering of Minneapolis, MN. He retired again in 2004 and resided in Hampton, Virginia until his death on February 8, 2013.


Updated February 28, 2013
Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
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