National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA History Division
John Taber (1880-1965) (R-NY) was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1923 and served through 1962.
Robert A. Taft (1889-1953) was the son of President William Taft. He served as a Republican Senator from Ohio from January 3, 1939 until July 31, 1953. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1996 (Washington, DC: CQ Staff Directories, Inc., 1997).
Brian Taylor (1940- ) joined ESA (then ESRO) in 1967 as a staff scientist. In 1971, he became head of the high energy astrophysics division and in 1984, he became head of the astrophysics division. Miscellaneous foreign biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Eldon Taylor (1929- ) served as President Carter’s Inspector General for NASA from 1979-1981. He was the first Director of Administration for the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, and Assistant Director of Administration for the National Science Foundation from 1973 to 1979. Mr. Taylor was a Navy civilian from 1949 to 1959 (with time out for military service), and graduated from American University with a B.S. and M.S. in Public Affairs. He has earned several awards, including the William A. Jump Meritorious Award, NASA’s Exceptional Service Award, the Environmental Protection Agency Special Achievement Award, and the National Science Foundation Distinguished Service Award. (“Taylor, Eldon” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.)
William B. Taylor (1925 - ) graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1945, and rose to the rank of Major as an engineer in the Army Corps of Engineers, in support of the Nuclear Power Program. He was a Technical Operations Officer involved in atomic weapons tests and operations as part of the Manhattan Project from 1946 to 1952. In 1951 he received a Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University. In 1954 he retired, then in 1962 joined NASA as a systems engineer. He was the Assistant Director for Engineering Studies in the Office of Manned Space Flight. See “Taylor, William B.,” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
Olin ("Tiger") E. Teague (1910-1981) (D-TX) was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 and served in each succeeding Congress through the 95th (1977-1979). He was appointed to the new Science and Astronautics Committee in the 86th Congress (1959-1961).
Edward Teller (1908-2003) was a naturalized American physicist born in Hungary who made important contributions to the development of both fission- and fusion-type bombs. As a member of the advisory committee of the AEC, he advocated the hydrogen bomb as a U.S. tactical weapon, arousing a great deal of controversy. He also spoke publicly about Sputnik as showing that the Soviets were beginning to gain a lead on the U.S. in the fields of science and technology. Among other works on Teller, see the view of the insider, Herbert York, _The Advisors: Oppenheimer, Teller, and the Superbomb_ (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1976). For one perspective on Teller's more recent and still controversial activities in the world of science and defense technology, see William J. Broad, _Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception_ (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992).
Morris Tepper (1916- ) earned a Ph.D. in fluid mechanics from Johns Hopkins in 1952. Before that but after earning an M.A. in mathematics from Brooklyn College, he had joined the Air Force in 1943 and served as a meteorologist in the Pacific Theater during World War II. In 1946 he joined the Weather Bureau as a research meteorologist. After becoming chief of the severe local storms research unit there in 1951, he transferred to NASA in 1959 as a meteorologist in the office of space flight development. By 1962, he had become director of meteorological systems in the office of applications (later, office of space science and applications). In 1969 he added the title of deputy director of the earth observations programs division. He also worked through the U.N. Committee on Space Research and elsewhere to promote international cooperation in the field of meteorology in space. After serving as a special project officer at Goddard in 1978-1979, he left NASA in the latter year to become a professor of mathematical physics at Capitol College, Maryland. ("Morris Tepper," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.)
Albert Thomas (1898-1966) (D-TX), a lawyer and World War I veteran, had first been elected to the House of Representatives in 1936 and served successively until 1962. In 1960 -1962 he was chair of the independent offices subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee and thus exercised considerable congressional power over NASA's funding. "Thomas, Albert," biographical file 002295, NASA Historical Reference Collection, History Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
James R. (J.R.) Thompson, Jr.,
Floyd L. Thompson (1898-1976) served in the Navy for four years after 1917 and entered the University of Michigan, earning a B.S. degree in aeronautical engineering in June 1926. He then joined the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory as part of a staff of only about 150. He worked in the flight research division, where he was author or co-author of more than 20 technical reports. He became chief of the division in 1940 and assistant chief of research for all of Langley in 1943. From 1945-1952 he served as chief of research before becoming associate director of the center in 1952 and director in 1960. He was briefly a special assistant to the NASA administrator in 1968 before retiring later that year. ("Floyd L. Thompson," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection; see also James R. Hansen, _Engineer in Charge: A History of the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, 1917-1958_ [Washington, D.C.: NASA SP-4305, 1987], passim.)
Shelby Thompson (1907- ) worked for the Atomic Energy Commission from 1947-1955 as the chief of its public information service and from 1955-1960 as deputy director, division of information services. He joined NASA in June 1960 as director of the office of technical information and educational programs. In 1964 he became special assistant to the NASA assistant administrator for public affairs. He retired in 1970. ("Shelby Thompson," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.)
Mikhail Klavdiyevich Tikhohravov (1900-1974) was designer at NII-4 and OKB-1 (Korolev) and worked on Sputnik, Vostok, and Luna programs. He also performed early ICBM work in 1950s and designed first Soviet liquid propellant rocket in 1933. (Provided by Asif Siddiqi)
Shelby G. Tilford was in the late 1980s and early 1990s a NASA scientist in the Office of Space Science where he was Director of Earth Sciences. In 1992 he was appointed acting Associate Administrator for Mission to Planet Earth and served until 1994. "Tilford, Shelby," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Adrienne Timothy supported the Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) Reduction and Analysis System at the American Science and Engineering (AS&E) Corporation from 1971 to 1974. She began her career with NASA in 1974 as a staff scientist for solar physics, physics, and astronomy programs in the Office of Space Science. In 1975, she became chief of the Solar Physics Branch, where she planned and directed a national program of space science research in the solar physics discipline. In 1977, she became program manager for advanced programs and technology in NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Division of the Office of Space Science. And in June of 1978 she became assistant associate administrator for Space Science. See “Timothy, Adrienne F.” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
Howard W. Tindall (1925-1995) was an expert in orbital mechanics and a key figure in the development of rendezvous techniques for Gemini and lunar trajectories for Apollo. He was directly responsible for planning all ten of the Gemini missions at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. Tindall received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University in 1948 and subsequently joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at Langley Research Center that same year. He moved to Houston in 1961 to assume mission planning responsibilities in the Flight Operations Directorate for Gemini. He gained popularity within the organization for his irreverently written “Tindallgrams” which captured the details of complicated aspects of key flight problems. In 1970, Tindall was appointed deputy director of Flight Operations, and in 1972, he became director. He retired from NASA in 1979 after thirty-one years of service. See “Tindall, Howard W., Jr.,” biographical file 004812, NASA Historical Reference Collection, History Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Adelbert O. Tischler held numerous posts at NASA during the course of his career. He has worked as a chemical engineer for NACA before being named NASA’s Chief of Liquid Rocket Engines upon the agency’s establishment in 1958. Tischler later worked in the Office of Manned Space Flight, where he helped to develop the engines used during the Apollo program. He went on to serve as the Director of the Chemical Propulsion Division, within the Office of Advanced Research and Technology, from 1964-1969. Tischler then served as the Director of the Shuttle Technology Office (1970-1972) and also worked on several task forces aimed at finding more cost-effective methods for space operations prior to his retirement in 1973. ("A. O. Tischler," biographical file 002330, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Division, Washington, D.C.)
German Stepanovich Titov (1935-2000) was the second human in orbit. Titov was later First Deputy Commander of GUKOS (Military Space Forces) from 1979-1991. (Provided by Asif Siddiqi)
Maj. Gen. Holger Toftoy (1903-1967) was a career U.S. Army officer, an expert in ordnance, and was responsible for bringing the German Rocket Team under the leadership of Wernher von Braun to the United States in 1945. He became commander of the Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, in 1954 and worked closely with von Braun's teams in the development of the Redstone and Jupiter missiles. In the aftermath of Sputnik 1 in 1957, he persuaded the Department of Defense to allow the launch of the United States' first Earth-orbiting satellite aboard the Jupiter missile and the result was the orbiting of Explorer 1 on January 31, 1958. He also held a number of other positions in the Army, head of the Rocket Research Branch of the Chief of Ordnance in Washington, DC, and commander of the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. He retired from the Army in 1960 with the rank of major general. See "Maj. Gen. Holger Toftoy Dies; Leader in U.S. Rocket Program," New York Times, April 20, 1967, p. 41.
Richard Tousey (1909-1997) received his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard in 1933, and an honorary D.Sc. degree in 1961 from Tufts University, where he was a research instructor from 1935 to 1941. In 1941 he joined the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as a space scientist and stayed until his retirement in 1978. He was credited with pioneering NRL’s rocket spectroscopy research and was the principal investigator for four successful solar experiments carried out by astronauts aboard the Skylab space station in 1973 and 1974. In 1990, he received the George Ellery Hale Prize from the American Astronomical Society for his work. Other honors include: the Henry Draper Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the Frederick Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America, the E.O. Hulbert Award of the Naval Research Laboratory, the Progress Medal of the Photographic Society of America, the Prix Ancel of the Societe Francaise de Photographie, and the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. He was the Henry Norris Russell Lecturer of the American Astronomical Society and the Darwin Lecturer of the Royal Astronomical Society. See “Tousey, Richard,” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
Charles H. Townes (1915- ) was trained in physics at Duke University and specialized in the development of laser and maser technology. He first worked for the Bell Telephone Laboratories and in 1948 joined the faculty of Columbia University, leaving there in 1961 to move to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and on to the University of California. For his work on the maser Townes received the Nobel Prize in 1964. (David E. Newton, "Charles H. Townes," in Emily J. McMurray, ed., Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists (New York: Gale Research Inc., 1995), pp. 2042-44.)
John W. Townsend, Jr., (1924 - ) was the deputy director of the Goddard Space Center from 1965 to1968 and director from 1987 to 1990. Before NASA he worked at the Naval Research Laboratory from 1949 to 1958, and was branch head from 1955 to 1958. He supported several positions in various scientific fields, including deputy Administrator of the Environment Sciences Services Administration (1968 to 1970), associate administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1970 to 1977), president of the Fairchild Space and Electronics Company International Academy of Astronautics, NASA Advisory Council, National Academy of Engineering, National Research Council Space Applications Board, and the Office of Technology Assessment Advisory Board Panel on International Cooperation and Competition in Civilian Space Activities. He earned his B.A., M.A, and Sc.D. from Williams College. See “Townsend, John W., Jr.,” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
Arthur G. Trudeau (1902-1991) was a career army officer and in 1958 was serving as commanding general of the I United States Corps Korea. He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1956.
Richard H. Truly
Gerald M. Truszynski (1921- ) earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Rutgers University. After graduating, he joined NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1944. In 1947, he transferred to the NACA Flight Research Center where he rose to Chief of the Instrumentation Division. After 13 years working on numerous instrumentation development projects, he transferred to NASA Headquarters as Chief of Operations in the Office of Space Flight Operations. In 1961, he was appointed as Deputy Director of the Office of Tracking and Data Acquisition. He became Associate Administrator of that Office in 1968. He received NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal twice for his support of Apollo 8 and Apollo 11; he served NACA and NASA for 33 years. See “Gerald M. Truszynski,” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
H.S. Tsien (1909- ) was a Chinese national who received a Ph.D. in aeronautics in 1939 from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and worked on the development of rocket technology at his alma mater through World War II. He was on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1946 to 1949, when he returned to Caltech. In the 1950s his loyalty to democratic institutions was questioned and he was deported from the United States to the People's Republic of China. There he was largely responsible for the development of ICBM rocket technology, especially the "Long March" launch vehicle.
Konstantin E. Tsiolkovskiy (1857-1935) became enthralled with the possibilities of interplanetary travel as a boy, and at age fourteen started independent study using books from his father's library on natural science and mathematics. He also developed a passion for invention, and constructed balloons, propelled carriages, and other instruments. To further his education, his parents sent young Tsiolkovskiy to Moscow to pursue technical studies. In 1878, he became a teacher of mathematics in a school north of Moscow. Tsiolkovskiy first started writing on space in 1898, when he submitted for publication to the Russian journal, Nauchnoye Obozreniye (Science Review), a work based upon years of calculations that laid out many of the principles of modern space flight. The article, "Investigating Space with Rocket Devices," presented years of calculations that laid out many of the principles of modern space flight and opened the door to future writings on the subject. In it, Tsiolkovskiy described in depth the use of rockets for launching orbital space ships. There followed a series of increasingly sophisticated studies on the technical aspects of space flight. In the 1920s and 1930s Tsiolkovskiy proved especially productive, publishing ten major works, elucidating the nature of bodies in orbit, developing scientific principles behind reaction vehicles, designing orbital space stations, and promoting interplanetary travel. He also furthered studies on many principles commonly used in rockets today: specific impulse to gauge engine performance, multistage boosters, fuel mixtures such as liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, the problems and possibilities inherent in microgravity, the promise of solar power, and spacesuits for extravehicular activity. Significantly, he never had the resources-nor perhaps the inclination-to experiment with rockets himself. After the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and the creation of the Soviet Union, Tsiolkovskiy was formally recognized for his accomplishments in the theory of space flight. Among other honors, in 1921 he received a lifetime pension from the state that allowed him to retire from teaching at the age of sixty-four. Thereafter he devoted full time to developing his space flight theories studies. He died at his home in Kaluga on 19 September 1935. His theoretical work greatly influenced later rocketeers both in his native land and throughout Europe. While less well known during his lifetime in the United States, Tsiolkovskiy's work enjoyed broad study in the 1950s and 1960s as Americans sought to understand how the Soviet Union had accomplished such unexpected success in its early efforts in space flight. See "Tsilkovskiy, K.E.,î Biographical File, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Andrey Nikolayevich Tupolev (1888-1972) was Chief Designer / General Designer from 1943-1972 at OKB-156, and designed many famous Soviet aircraft, including some abandoned spaceplane projects. (Provided by Asif Siddiqi)
Nathan F. Twining (1897-1982) was a career pilot in the Army and the Air Force, commanding the 13th Air Force in the Pacific, the 15th Air Force in Europe, and then the 20th Air Force again in the Pacific during World War II. He became chief of staff of the Air Force in 1953 and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1957 to 1960. (Donald J. Mrozek, "Nathan F. Twining: New Dimensions, a New Look," in John L. Frisbee, ed., Makers of the United States Air Force (Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1987, pp. 257-80.)
Georgiy Aleksandrovich Tyulin (1914-1990) was a leading industrial manager of the Soviet space program and served as the First Deputy Minister of General Machine Building from 1965-1976. (Provided by Asif Siddiqi)
Ralph E. Ulmer (1917-1985) began working as an aeronautical engineer at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory in 1938. The next year he transferred to NACA Headquarters and served after 1940 as a technical assistant to the NACA senior staff. In 1950 he became NACA budget officer. >From 1958-1961 he was the NASA budget officer. He then became director of facilities coordination in the NASA office of programs. He retired as a program analyst in 1973. ("Ralph E. Ulmer," biographical files, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.)
Roger K. Ulrich (1942 - ) earned his B.S. degree, 1963, and his Ph.D. degree, 1968, from the University of California, Berkeley. He was active in the study of the solar interior and used theoretical, analysis of the solar neutrino problem, theoretical helioseismology, and solar atmosphere dynamics, and observational methods that included the operation of the 150-foot tower on Mt. Wilson and participation in two space helioseismology experiments on the NASA/ESA SOHO Mission. The 150-foot tower project provided access to observe facilities with a unique long-termed digital database of solar activity that extended over two solar cycles. He used the Mt. Wilson facility to make the first observation and identification of Alfven waves on the solar surface. Professional memberships include: the American Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union. See “Ulrich, Roger K.” in Who’s Who in America, 1980-81, 41st Ed., V.2, and at http://personnel.physics.ucla.edu/directory/faculty/index.php?f_name=ulrich.
Dmitriy Fedorovich Ustinov(1908-1984) was Chairman of Military-Industrial Commission during Sputnik and Vostok from 1957-1963 and was later Secretary of Central Committee for defense and space, i.e., head of the Soviet space program, from 1965-1976. (Provided by Asif Siddiqi)
Vladimir Fedorovich Utkin (1923-2000) was Chief / General Designer from 1971-1990 at OKB-586 (Yangel) and then later headed TsNIIMash in 1990-2000. Was co-chair of Stafford-Utkin commission. (Provided by Asif Siddiqi)
Max Valier (1893-1930) was an early advocate of the use of rockets for spaceflight. A German, he had been educated in engineering in Berlin, and as a young man in the 1920s began experimenting with rockets with the "Verein fur Raumschiffahrt" (VfR), the Society for Spaceship Travel of which Wernher von Braun and Hermann Oberth were prominent members. He was also interested in the uses of rockets for propelling ground vehicles and built a rocket-powered automobile. He died in a crash of this car in 1930. (I. Essers, Max Valier: A Pioneer of Space Travel (Washington, DC: NASA TT F-664, 1976).)
James A. Van Allen (1914- ) is a pathbreaking astrophysicist best known for his work in magnetospheric physics. Van Allen's January 1958 Explorer 1 experiment established the existence of radiation belts--later named for the scientist--that encircled the Earth, representing the opening of a broad research field. Extending outward in the direction of the Sun approximately 40,000 miles, as well as stretching out with a trail away from the Sun to approximately 370,000 miles, the magnetosphere is the area dominated by Earth's strong magnetic field. (James A. Van Allen, Origins of Magnetospheric Physics (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983); David E. Newton, "James A. Van Allen," in Emily J. McMurray, ed., Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists (New York: Gale Research Inc., 1995), pp. 2070-72.
Cyrus R. Vance(1917-2002) had a long career as a senior government official in various Democratic administrations. He had been general counsel for the Department of Defense during the Kennedy administration of the early 1960s, and as Secretary of the Army, 1962-1964. He was Deputy Secretary of Defense, 1964-1967. He served as Secretary of State for President Jimmy Carter in the latter 1970s. See "Vance, Cyrus R[oberts]," Current Biography 1977, pp. 408-11.
Hoyt S. Vandenberg (1899-1954) was a career military aviator who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force between 1948 and 1953. He was educated the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and entered the Army Air Corps after graduation, becoming a pilot and air commander. After numerous command positions in World War II, most significantly as commander of Ninth Air Force which provided fighter support in Europe during the invasion and march to Berlin, he returned to Washington and helped with the formation of the Department of Defense (DOD) in 1947. As Air Force Chief of Staff he was a senior official in the DOD during the formative period of rocketry development and the work on intercontinental ballistic missiles. See Phillip S. Meilinger, Hoyt S. Vandenberg: The Life of a General (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989).
Jules Verne (1828-1905) was one of the leading writers of his time, and one of the founders of the literary genre of science fiction. He described in his novels the possibility of space flight, the use of submarines for travel beneath the ocean, and a variety of other visionary technologies that were realized in the twentieth century. (I.O. Evans, Jules Verne and His Work [New York: Twayne, 1966]).
John F. Victory (1893-1975) began work for the government in 1908 as a messenger for the patent office. After becoming the first employee of the NACA in 1915, he became its secretary in 1921 and its executive secretary in 1948, in general charge of its administration. When NASA came into being, he served as a special assistant to Glennan until his retirement at the end of July 1960. Over the years, he became known as "Mr. Aviation" to his friends, who ranged from Orville Wright to the builders of the fastest jet fighters. Although not an engineer or a technician, he assisted the NACA achieve working relationships with Congress, where he frequently testified, the military services, aerospace industry, and related groups engaged in government-sponsored research and development. ("John F. Victory," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.)
Robert B. Voas (1928 - ) was part of the first Space Task Group in 1958 and helped to conceptualize the criteria for the selection of astronauts. He earned a bachelor of arts, master of science and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California in Los Angeles, as well as a bachelor of philosophy degree from the University of Chicago. Voas served in the United States Navy where he reached the rank of lieutenant and logged about three hundred hours in jet aircraft. After being assigned to NACA in 1958, Voas went on to serve as Training Officer for project Mercury and later proposed the selection process for the Gemini astronauts. See “Voas, Robert B.: Biography,” biographical file 002449, NASA Historical Reference Collection, History Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
David Wade (1910 - ) was a career Air Force officer who advanced to the rank of lieutenant general in 1964. He was commander of the 1st Missile Division from 1958 to 1961 and later commanded the 16th, 2d, and 8th Air Forces.
James H. Wakelin, Jr. (1911-1990) was assistant secretary of the Navy (research and development) from 1959-1964. He had previously served in various capacities as a research director and administrator and later became president and chairman of the board of Research AnalysisCorp.
Arthur Bertram Cuthbert Walker, Jr., (1936- 2001) earned his B.S. from Case Institute of Technology in 1957, and his M.S. and his Ph.D. (physics) from the University of Illinois, respectively, in 1958 and 1962. He was a noted astronomer and space physicist at Stanford University from 1965 until 2001. His professional experiences include: member of the technical staff at the Space Physics Lab of the Aerospace Corporation, from 1965 to 1968, where he was promoted from staff scientist to senior staff scientist in 1970; director of the Space Astronomy Project in 1972 and 1973; and in 1975 he was named Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. His professional memberships include: Sigma Xi, the American Physics Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Astronomical Union, the American Astronomical Society, and the International Astronomical Union. See “Walker, Arthur Bertram Cuthbert, Jr.,” in American Men and Women of Science, 1998-99, 20th Ed. New Providence, NJ: R. R. Bower, 1998.
Robert Walker (1942 - ) (R-PA) earned a B.S. in education from Millersville University and an M.A. in political science from the University of Delaware. Congressman Walker was a high school teacher and a congressional aide prior to being elected to Congress. He served from 1977 to 1997 in the House, and was elected chairman of the House Science Committee in 1995. After his retirement from Congress, Walker served as chairman of the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry. See “Walker, Robert S.” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Abbott McConnell Washburn (1915- ) was deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency from 1954-1961.
Eugene W. Wasielewski (1913-1972) earned a B.S. degree in mechanical and aeronautical engineering and an M.S. in engineering mechanics from the University of Michigan. He worked in the private aircraft industry before going to work for Lewis Laboratory from 1947 to 1956. There he directed the design and construction of major engine-testing laboratories and supersonic wind tunnels; he also served as chief of the engine research division and as assistant director. He returned to private industry and then became associate director of Goddard Space Flight Center in October 1960. As such, he was the principal institutional manager under the director of the center. ("Eugene W. Wasielewski," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.)
Gerry Wasserburg (1927-) earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and has taught at the California Institute of Technology, University of Kiel, Harvard, University of Bern, and the Swiss Federal Technical Institute. Primarily his research is in the fields of geology, geochemistry and geophysics. His awards and recognitions include NASA’s Group Achievement Award (Lunar Sample Analysis Planning Team) (1969), Arthur L. Day Medal (Geological Society of America, 1970), Medal for Distinguished Public Service (NASA, 1972), J. F. Kemp Medal for Distinguished Public Service (Columbia University, 1973), and Leonard Metal (Meteoritical Society, 1975). (“Wasserburg, Gerry” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.)
Alan Waterman (1892-1967) was a prominent physicist who served as director of the National Science Foundation and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He was the deputy chief and chief scientist in the Office of Naval Research from 1931 to 1948. In 1964, he was sworn in as a consultant to NASA. (“Waterman, Alan” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.)
Mark S. Watson (1887-1966) was a longtime journalist with the _Baltimore Sun_, and had been the military correspondent since 1941. (_New York Times_, 26 March 1966, p. 29.)
Robert T. Watson (1922 - ) earned a B.A. from DePauw University in 1943 and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951. Dr. Watson worked for the Department of Commerce from 1971 to 1990. See Who's Who in America 2000 New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who, 1999.
Thomas J. Watson, Jr. (1914 - ) started with International Business Machines Corp. in 1937, with a break for service in the Air Corps from 1940-1945, and became president of the firm in 1952. In 1961 he became chairman of IBM.
James E. Webb (1906-1992) was NASA administrator between 1961 and 1968. Previously he had been an aide to a congressman in New Deal Washington, an aide to Washington lawyer Max O. Gardner, and a business executive with the Sperry Corporation and the Kerr-McGee Oil Co. He had also been director of the Bureau of the Budget between 1946 and 1950 and Under Secretary of State, 1950-1952. See W. Henry Lambright, Powering Apollo: James E. Webb of NASA (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995) and “James E. Webb” (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/Biographies/webb.html) accessed 23 October 2006.
R.S. Wehner (1915 - ) was research scientist with the Radio Corporation of America, 1943-1945; Airborne Instrument Laboratory, 1945-1948; the Rand Corp., 1948-1951; and the Hughes Aircraft Co., 1951-1959.
Caspar W. Weinberger (1917-2006), longtime Republican government official, was a senior member of the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations. For Nixon he was deputy director (1970-1972) and director (1972-1976) of the Office of Management and Budget. In this capacity had a leading role in shaping the direction of NASA's major effort of the 1970s, the development of a reusable Space Shuttle. For Reagan he served as Secretary of Defense, where he also oversaw the use of the Shuttle in the early 1980s for the launching of classified Department of Defense payloads into orbit. See "Weinberger, Caspar W(illard)," Current Biography 1973, pp. 428-30.
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) was a noted futurist, and one of the founders of the literary genre of science fiction. His novels described a future filled with technology, some of it terrifying, and contact with extraterrestrial beings, much of it disastrous (Lovat Dickson, H.G. Wells: His Turbulent Life [New York: Atheneum, 1969].)
Edward C. Welsh (1909-1990) had a long career in various private and public enterprises. He had served as legislative assistant to Senator Stuart Symington (D-MO), 1953-1961, and was the executive secretary of the National Aeronautics and Space Council through the 1960s. See “Welsh, Dr. Edward C.,” biographical file 002546, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Alfred John ("Jack") Westland (1904-1982) (R-WA) was first elected to Congress in 1952 and was reelected to each succeeding Congress through the 88th (1963-1965).
Harry Wexler (1911-1962) worked for the U.S. Weather Bureau from 1934 until his death. He was one of the first scientists to envision using satellites for meteorological purposes and was known as the father of the Tiros satellite. From 1955-1958, he was also the chief scientist for the U.S. expedition to Antarctica for the International Geophysical Year. In 1961, he was a lead negotiator for the U.S. in drafting plans for joint U.S.-U.S.S.R. use of meteorological satellites. He received a Ph.D. in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1939. "Wexler, Harry," Biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, Washington, DC.
Anne W. Wheaton had the title of associate press secretary under Press Secretary James G. Hagerty. She began as a reporter in New York, 1912-1921, then became a public relations consultant for several national women's organizations from 1924 to 1939. She next served as director of women's publicity for the Republican National Committee, 1939-1957. President Eisenhower states in his memoir (_Waging Peace, 1956-1961_ [New York: Doubleday, 1965], p. 320n) that he appointed her in early 1957 and that her experience with the Republican National Committee improved his communications with that office after she joined the White House.
Dr. Fred L. Whipple (1906 - ) was a University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. in astronomy who served on the faculty of Harvard University. He was involved in efforts in the early 1950s to expand public interest in the possibility of spaceflight through a series of symposia at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and articles in Collier's magazine. He was also heavily involved in planning for the International Geophysical Year, 1957-1958. As a pathbreaking astronomer he pioneered research on comets. Raymond E. Bullock, "Fred Lawrence Whipple," in Emily J. McMurray, ed., Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists (New York: Gale Research Inc., 1995), pp. 2167-70.
James F. Whisenand (1911 - ) was trained as an aeronautical engineer at the University of Illinois and entered the Army Air Corps in 1934. Serving in a variety of command and staff positions, including in combat in World War II and Korea, he served as special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Nathan F. Twining, beginning in 1957 as a major general. See "Biography DOD Miscellaneous, N-Z," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Gordon P. Whitcomb (1940 - ) is a British engineer who began his career working on automatic landing systems for civilian aircraft. In 1974, he joined the European Space Research Organization to work on spacecraft system design. Currently he is head of ESA's Future Science Projects Office. Miscellaneous foreign biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Edward H. White, Jr. (1930-1967) piloted the Gemini 4 mission during which he carried out the first extra vehicular activity. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy in 1952 and then was commissioned into the Air Force. Following his flight training, he was stationed in Germany for three and a half years with a fighter squadron, flying F-86’s and F-100’s. White then returned to the United States and earned a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1959. That same year he attended the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was later reassigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio as an experimental test pilot with the Aeronautical Systems Division. He was named a member of the second group of astronauts selected by NASA in 1962. After piloting Gemini 4 and serving as backup command pilot for Gemini 7, he was named as one of the pilots for the Apollo 1 mission. Lieutenant Colonel White died on January 27, 1967 in the Apollo spacecraft flash fire during a launch pad test at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. See “Edward H. White, II,” (http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/white-eh.html) accessed 30 October 30, 2006.
Robert M. White (1923 – ) served as head of the U.S. Weather Bureau and the Environmental Science Services Administration in the 1960s, as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the 1970s, and as head of the National Academy of Engineering in the late 1980s. See “White, Robert M.,” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
Thomas D. White (1901-1965) was a career Air Force officer who served in a succession of increasingly responsible positions until his retirement in 1961. He was director of legislation for the secretary of the Air Force between 1948 and 1951; USAF deputy chief of staff for operations, 1951-1953; USAF vice chief of staff, 1953-1957; and chief of staff, 1957-1961. "White, T.D." biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Clay T. Whitehead was a White House staff assistant during the Nixon Administration between 1969 and 1972 who was heavily involved in space policy associated with the decision to build the Space Shuttle and post-Apollo planning for NASA. See Roger D. Launius, "NASA and the Decision to Build the Space Shuttle, 1969-72," The Historian 57 (Autumn 1994): 17-34; Roger D. Launius, "A Western Mormon in Washington, D.C.: James C. Fletcher, NASA, and the Final Frontier," Pacific Historical Review 64 (May 1995): 217-41.
Jerome B. Wiesner (1915-1994) was science advisor to President John F. Kennedy. He had been a faculty member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and had served on President Eisenhower's Science Advisory Committee. During the presidential campaign of 1960, Wiesner had advised Kennedy on science and technology issues and chaired a transition team report on the space program that questioned the value of human spaceflight. As Kennedy's science advisor he tussled with NASA over the lunar landing commitment and the method of conducting it. See Gregg Herken, Cardinal Choices: Science Advice to the President from Hiroshima to SDI (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).
Lyn Wigbels (1951- )is the assistant director for international programs on the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program. She joined NASA's international affairs division in 1979 and developed the space station agreements covering cooperation with Europe, Japan, and Canada. She has also held several other policy and internationally-related positions at NASA. Biographical sketch from Lyn Wigbels and "Wigbels, Lyn," miscellaneous NASA officials biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Alexander Wiley (1884-1967) (R-WI) was first elected to the Senate in 1938 and served until 1962. At this time, he was the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees and was a member of the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee.
Donald D. Williams (1931-1966) was instrumental in the development of the Early Bird and Syncom communications satellites. He was employed by the Hughes Aircraft Company and was named one of Americaís ten outstanding young men of 1965 by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. On 21 February 1966, Williams committed suicide. See "Academic and Scientific Miscellaneous," Biographical File, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
John Bell Williams (1918-1983) (D-MS) was first elected to Congress in 1946 and served in the House until 1968 when he became governor of Mississippi for four years. As an Army Air Forces pilot in World War II, he lost an arm in an airplane crash.
Walter C. Williams (1919-1995) earned a B.S. in aerospace engineering from LSU in 1939 and went to work for the NACA in 1940, serving as a project engineer to improve the handling, maneuverability, and flight characteristics of World War II fighters. Following the war, he went to what became Edwards Air Force Base to set up flight tests for the X-1, including the first human supersonic flight by Capt. Charles E. Yeager in October 1947. He became the founding director of the organization that became Dryden Flight Research Facility. In September 1959 he assumed associate directorship of the new NASA space task group at Langley, created to carry out Project Mercury. He later became director of operations for the project, then associate director of the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, subsequently renamed the Johnson Space Center. In 1963 Williams moved to NASA Headquarters as deputy associate administrator of the office of manned space flight. From 1964 to 1975, he was a vice president for Aerospace Corporation. Then from 1975-1982 he served as chief engineer of NASA, retiring in the latter year. See "Williams, W.C.," biographical file 002618, NASA Historical Reference Collection, History Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
William Willner was in charge of construction in the procurement and supply division of NASA Headquarters' office of business administration. By August 1960, he had moved to the office of research grants and contracts. (Headquarters telephone directories, Aug. 1959, p. 3; Aug. 1960, pp. 7, 9, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.)
Charles E. Wilson (1886-1972) was an industrialist with General Electric who worked with the Office of Defense Mobilization in the 1950s.
Edward Lawrence (Larry) Winn, Jr., (1919- ) earned his B.A. from the University of Kansas in 1941. Before his congressional seat, he was with a radio station in Missouri for two years, spent two years with North American Aviation, worked two years as a private builder, has been vice president of the Winn-Rau Corporation since 1950, was the director of the National Association of Home Builders for 14 years, and is past president of the Home Builders Association of Kansas. A Republican, Winn was elected to the 90th Congress, January 2, 1967, and served his state until January 3, 1985. He was a ranking representative from Kansas on the House Science and Technology Committee, and did not seek reelection to the 99th Congress. See “Winn, Larry, Jr.,” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
Dean E. Wooldridge (1913- ) was a member of the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1936-1946. He was co-director of the research and development labs of Hughes Aircraft Company from 1946-1951, rising through the directorship to become vice president for research and development, 1952-1953. He served as president and director of Ramo-Wooldridge Corp. from 1953-1958 and of Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge from 1958-1962, when be became director of the firm's Space Technology Labs.
Simon P. Worden (1949- ) is the current Director for Ames Research Center. Prior to his current post, he was a professor of astronomy, optical science, and planetary sciences at the University of Arizona. He was in active service of the United States Air Force for 29 years, ending with retirement in 2004. The same year of his retirement he served as Chief Advisor to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space with regards to NASA related issues. He has also served as a consultant to DARPA. See “Simon P. Worden,” biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
John David Wright (1905- ) had gone to work for Thompson Products, Inc. in 1933 and rose through the ranks of it and its successor organizations until he became chairman of the board of Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge, Inc. (later, TRW, Inc.) in 1958.
DeMarquis D. Wyatt (1919- ), a graduate in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri, Rolla, joined the Lewis Laboratory in 1944, where he specialized in supersonic research in propulsion system installations. In 1958 he transferred to NASA Headquarters, where he held a series of positions as research engineer; assistant administrator for programming, program plans and analysis, planning, and for policy and university affairs. He retired in 1973. ("DeMarquis Wyatt," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.)
Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel (1911-1971) was Chief Designer from 1954-1971 at OKB-586 and led work on strategic missiles and robotic spacecraft. (Provided by Asif Siddiqi)
John F. Yardley (1925-2001) was an aerospace engineer who worked with the McDonnell Aircraft Corp., on several NASA human spaceflight projects between the 1950s and the 1970s. He also served as NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight between 1974 and 1981. Thereafter he returned to McDonnell Douglas as president, 1981-1988 ("Yardley, John F.," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection). Click here to view a press release upon his death.
Chuck Yeager (1923- ) was the U.S. Air Force test pilot who piloted the X-1 research aircraft on the first supersonic powered flight in 1947. Thereafter he served in several Air Force positions, retiring as a brigadier general. See Chuck Yeager, Yeager (New York: Bantam Books, 1982).
Boris N. Yeltsin (1930- ) became leader of Russia in the immediate post-Cold War era in the early 1990s and carried even further democratic reforms than had his predecessor, Mikhail Gorbachev. One of his principle objectives was closer ties to the West, and under his leadership the international partnership to build a space station came much closer to reality. See "Yeltsin, Boris N.," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
E(lmer) E. Yeomans (1902-1983) was a career naval officer who advanced through the ranks to rear admiral. At this time, he was superintendent of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California.
Herbert F. York (1923 - ) has been associated with scientific research in support of national defense since World War II. He was director of the Livermore Radiation Laboratory for the University of California before moving to the Department of Defense in March 1958 as chief scientist of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. As a result of a Department of Defense reorganization, he became the director of research and engineering in December 1958. He supported the position, the third-ranking civilian office after the secretary and deputy secretary of defense, until 1961. He then moved to the University of California, San Diego, as chancellor and professor of physics. He also served as a member of the President's Science Advisory Committee under both Eisenhower and Johnson, and was later chief negotiator for the comprehensive test ban during the Carter Administration. See "Dr. Herbert F. York," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection; Herbert F. York, Making Weapons, Talking Peace: A Physicist's Odyssey from Hiroshima to Geneva New York: Basic Books, 1987.
John ("Jack") Donald Young (1919- ) earned an M.S. from Syracuse in 1943 and served as a captain in the Marine Corps from 1942-1945. He worked for various government agencies in the next few years and then became a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. from 1954-1960. He served as NASA's director of management analysis from 1960-1961, then became successively deputy director for administration and deputy associate administrator at NASA Headquarters. He left NASA in 1966 for a series of management positions in the Bureau of the Budget and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Thereafter, he became a professor of public management at American University. ("John D. Young," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.)
Stephen M. Young (1889-1984) (R-OH) was elected to Congress in 1932 and served from then until 1937, again 1941-1943 and 1949-1951. Elected to the Senate in 1958, he served there through 1971.
Harold Adelbert Zahl (1904-1973) earned his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. from North Central College in Naperville, Ill. He was a physicist for the United States Army from 1931-66, where he was the Director of Research of the Electronics Lab, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Lab, and worked for the U.S. Electronics Command. His decorations include the Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, Scientific Achievement Award from the Service Clubs of Long Island, Federal Business Association of New York Outstanding Vicilian Award, and the Distinguished Alumnus award of North Central College. In addition to authoring Electrons Away… or Tales of a Government Scientist (1968), he has researched and published works regarding verification of wave particle dualism of atoms and propagation of sound through the ocean, radar, and electron tubes. He developed the infrared detecting cell, tubes used in radar tube (ie: the Zahl tube) and radar switching tubes. (Who’s Who in Science from Antiquity to Present; Marquis Who’s Who Inc. Debus, Allen G. 1968).
Georgiy Konstantinovich Zhukov(1896-1974) was Minister of Defense from 1955-1957 during the selection of Tyura-Tam and development of the R-7 ICBM. (Provided by Asif Siddiqi)
Charles H. Zimmerman (1907 - ) was handpicked by Robert R. Gilruth to serve on the first Space Task Group in 1958 and served as Director of Aeronautical Research in NASA’s Office of Advanced Research and Technology from 1962-1963. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas in 1929 and joined the staff of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in that same year. He spent the next 33 years of his life in Government and private industry developing and improving new aircraft. Zimmerman earned a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1954 and two years later was the recipient of both the Alexander Klemin Award of the American Helicopter Society and the Wright Brothers Medal of the Society of Automotive Engineers. See “Charles H. Zimmerman,” biographical file 002882, NASA Historical Reference Collection, History Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Harold Zirin (1929 - ) earned and received, from Harvard University, his A.B. in 1950, his M.A. in 1951, and his Ph.D. (astrophysics) in 1953. His professional career began at the Rand Corporation in 1952. From 1953 to 1955 he was an instructor of astronomy at Harvard University. He was a senior researcher at the High Altitude Observatory, of the University of Colorado, from 1955 to 1964. With his colleague Robert Howard, Zirin attempted to build a 65-centimeter Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) in the mid 1960s. Since 1964, Dr. Zirin has been a professor of astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology (CIT). See “Zirin, Harold” in American Men and Women of Science, 1998-99, 20th Ed. New Providence, NJ: R. R. Bower, 1998.
Eugene M. Zuckert (1911- ) received an L.L.B. from Yale in 1937 and worked from then until 1940 as an attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He taught and became an assistant dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration from 1940-1944 and then held a variety of positions in the government including membership on the AEC, 1952-1954, and secretary of the Air Force, 1961-1965.
Updated February 6, 2013
Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
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