To Non-Java ALLSTAR Network Website

                                                                                                                                                                        JAVA-capable browser required for graphic-based menus (Exploer 3.0 or Netscape 2.0 or greater)

Please let me remind all of you--this material is copyrighted.  Though partially funded by NASA, it is still a private site.  Therefore, before using our materials in any form, electronic or otherwise, you need to ask permission.
There are two ways to browse the site: (1) use the search button above to find specific materials using keywords; or,
(2) go to specific headings like history, principles or careers at specific levels above and click on the button.
Teachers may go directly to the Teachers' Guide from the For Teachers button above or site browse as in (1) and (2).

FAQnewred.gif (906 bytes)           

Dr. Robert R. Gilruth

KraftGilruth.jpg (35767 bytes)   Dr. Robert R. Gilruth (right), Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) Director, sits with Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr., MSC Director of Flight Operations, at his flight operations director console in the Mission Control Center, bldg 30, during the Apollo 5 (LM-1/Saturn 204) unmanned space mission launch.  NASA Photo ID: S68-18733 

Aerospace Scientist

and Engineer

Born October 8, 1913

Died August 17, 2000

Robert R. Gilruth was born in Nashwauk, Minnesota on 8 October 1913. He developed a strong interest in aviation at an early age and with Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight in 1927, resolved to enter the field of aeronautics. In 1936, he was awarded a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering position with the National Advisory Committee (NACA) at Langley Field, Virginia.

Initially, his principal work at NACA was in the field of stability, control and handling qualities of airplanes. In 1945, Dr. Gilruth was assigned the responsibility of organizing a research group and the construction of a facility at Wallops Island, Virginia. Their investigations of flight in the transonic and supersonic speed range began with rocket-powered models. Later these responsibilities were expanded to encompass research in hypersonic aerodynamics, high temperature structures and dynamic loads.

With the beginning of the space age and the creation of NASA, Dr. Gilruth was charged with the task of putting man in orbit around the earth (Project Mercury) as a first step in achieving the goal of lunar exploration. Subsequent to the success of Project Mercury in 1961, he was selected to organize and direct the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas. He was responsible for the design and development of spacecraft, selection and training of flight crews, and planning and control of missions necessary to put Man on the Moon (Project Apollo). In this, role he also conceived and directed the Gemini Program, which tested spacecraft, rendezvous, docking and flight control procedures in Earth orbit. The ultimate success of the Apollo manned lunar landings are directly attributable to Dr. Gilruth’s courage to explore the unknown, his insistence on sound step-by-step advances, and his great qualities of leadership and technical expertise.


Invested 1992 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame


Dr. Gilruth received honorary degrees from at least five universities. Gilruth is enshrined in the both the National Space Hall of Fame and International Aerospace Hall of Fame and has received numerous honors, including the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Service and the prestigious Collier Trophy from the National Aviation Club.   Dr. Gilruth retired from NASA in 1973.  He died at the age of 86 in Charlottesville, VA, due to complications from his Alheimer's disease.


Send all comments to allstar@fiu.edu
1995-2017 ALLSTAR Network. All rights reserved worldwide.

Funded in part by NASA/LTP From
San Diego
Aerospace Museum

Educational Materials
San Diego Aerospace Museum

Updated: March 12, 2004