William H. Pickering (1910-2004 ) obtained his bachelors and masters
degrees in electrical engineering, then a Ph.D. in physics from Caltech before
becoming a professor of electrical engineering there in 1946. In 1944 he organized
the electronics efforts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to support guided
missile research and development, becoming project manager for Corporal, the
first operational missile JPL developed. From 1954 to 1976 he was director of
JPL, which developed the first U.S. satellite (Explorer I), the first successful
U.S. circumlunar space probe (Pioneer IV), the Mariner flights to Venus and
Mars in the early to mid-1960s, the Ranger photographic missions to the moon
in 1964-65, and the Surveyor lunar landings of 1966-67. See ≥William H. Pickering,"
biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Division,
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. or go to a good
private site about Pickering.
Last Updated: November 8, 2006