My Connection with the Manned Lunar Landing Program (APOLLO) Scroll through story...below: · Much of my career has been associated with rockets in one form or the other. It began in 1945 with my job as an "Aerodynamics Research Scientist" at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at Langley Field, Va. It was there that I began to launch aerodynamic research models on rocket boosters at Wallop's Island, just off the east coast of Virginia. These rockets were surplus WWII solid propellant units that we used to achieve supersonic speeds for our research. · In 1951, I left the government (NACA) for jobs in industry: first with Fairchild Aircraft Missile Davison in Long Island, NY and, then in 1955, with North American Aviation's Missile Division in Downey, Ca. · In late 1956, at North American Aviation, Downey, I led an advanced engineering group in a proposal to the U.S. Air Force for a study to create a lunar base on the moon.. The idea behind the proposal was that a base on the far side of the moon would provide an ideal site for military surveillance and authority over the entire face of earth. The study was not funded. · The Russian "Sputnik" spacecraft flew in Oct 57. The event had global repercussions, especially in the U.S. · In 1958 I briefed Werner Von Braun at Huntsville on a proposal to use the existing North American Navaho rocket booster for an orbital mission. The proposal was judged too far ahead of its time. · In 1959, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was formed out of the NACA to put a man in earth orbit before the USSR. The main effort was led by the staff of the former Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD) at Langley Field, VA. (As noted above, I was one of the original staff (circa 1945) of PARD but had left the NACA by the spring of 1951 to join Fairchild Aviation in Long Island, NY..) · In early 59, I led a North American design team in a study of very large rocket boosters, which would be needed for space missions. I presented our study results to top management at the newly-formed NASA Headquarters. · In 1959, in response to an RFP (Request for Proposal) from NASA, I led a North American engineering team to design and propose a large rocket booster for space missions. The program was awarded to McDonnell Aircraft. · In 1960, following the loss of the above proposal, I joined Hughes Aircraft as Director of Advanced Manned Space Programs. As Hughes was the leader in air and space-borne computer technology, my job was to develop business opportunities for Hughes in the budding manned space flight program. In that capacity I led a study of potential hazards during a lunar landing mission that could require an onboard computing system to safely return astronauts to earth. · From my study of lunar mission hazards, I prepared a paper, "A Mission Management Subsystem for Advanced Manned Space Missions" which I presented at the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Annual Meeting in NY in Jan 61. · After Gagarin flew the first manned space orbit in Apr 61, things really heated up. In May 61, President Kennedy announced a national goal of placing a man on the moon before the end of the decade. · The Space Task Group, which had been, formed out of PARD (see above), succeeded in flying a manned sub-orbital mission (Alan Shepard) in May 61 and, a year later, an orbital mission by John Glenn. · In late 61, North American won NASA Apollo contracts to engineer and build the Command Module and the second stage (SII) of the Apollo rocket booster. · Following the Dec 61 SII award, North American asked me to return to participate in the program. However, it was not until a second request (and a much more favorable offer) in Dec 63 that I accepted the position of Director of Systems Engineering.. · During the next four years, I led a large team of engineers to resolve problems and interface issues regarding the various systems, (e.g.: hydraulics, fuel, propulsion, etc.) which made up the Saturn II stage. · My final activities with regard to the Apollo Program came to an abrupt conclusion as a result of the Apollo 1 fire in Feb 67. As a result of what was perceived as a national calamity, all higher management of the North American Aviation's Apollo programs was "fired"…including myself. The wholesale "firing" was widely regarded as a required catharsis to heal a tragic break in the program. To compensate, a job was created for me: "Director of Advanced Launch Vehicles", which I held until moving to Rocketdyne's High Energy Laser Projects in Oct 1980.