Goddard Pioneers

These stories are about former NASA Goddard employees and the legacy of science, engineering, and technology they created for the nation’s aerospace agency.

lowman_photo_125Paul Lowman, Goddard Pioneer, Remembered
Published November 17, 2011

Last week, friends and colleagues of pioneering NASA geologist Paul D. Lowman, Jr. (1931-2011) gathered at Goddard Space Flight Center to share stories and celebrate their friend’s life and career. Read more…

schaefer-vanguard-core-125Before NASA: When Jack Townsend met Dave Schaefer: Building the Vanguard telemetry system
Published November 8, 2011

John (Jack) Townsend, one of the founders of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, passed away on Saturday, October 29. Among many other things, Townsend helped to develop the Vanguard satellite program, before NASA even existed. That was a long time ago, but many people are still around who worked with Townsend in those days. Read more…

photo of Earl Angulo (at left) and Ron Browning examining an Explorer-10 model attached to a test fixtureGoddard’s First Homegrown Satellite, Explorer 10, Was Launched 50 Years Ago Today: We Talk to the Father of Explorer 10, James Heppner, About the ‘Opportunity Years’ at the Dawn of NASA
Published March 25, 2011

Fifty years ago today, Goddard’s first homegrown scientific satellite roared off the pad at Cape Canaveral on a Thor-Delta rocket. Although key components came from outside the gates, Explorer 10 was the first satellite to be designed, assembled, tested, and flown from Goddard Space Flight Center. Read more…

Robert_Goddard_at_Clark_University_580Happy Goddard Dream Day! On this day in 1899, Bob Goddard had a crazy idea: that people would some day fly without wings
Published October 19, 2010

Goddard Space Flight Center is named after Robert Goddard, the liquid-fuel rocketry pioneer. And on this day in 1899, he had a crazy idea. It occurred to him in a cherry tree. Bob Goddard wondered if it would be possible to fly without wings to Mars. And he marked this day, October 19, for the rest of his life, calling it his “anniversary day.” Read more . . .

The late John New, NASA pioneer.Here’s to John New, a NASA Goddard pioneer, and his massive (literally!) legacy to space science and engineering
Published August 17, 2010

A NASA pioneer passed away recently. His name was John New, and his legacy to us fills large volumes of space in the Building 7-10-15-29 complex at Goddard Space Flight Center. These vast spaces are host to the famous giant clean room, centrifuge, space vacuum chamber, and assorted other large and impressive looking gadgetry. Read more . . .

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