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W. H. Pickering

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Eminent Space Power Advocate

Born Wellington, New Zealand

December 24, 1910—


William Hayward Pickering emigrated to the U.S. and received his education in the sciences at the California Institute of Technology. Since 1936, he labored exclusively in aerospace related programs. He performed early investigations into new electronic telemetering techniques, which have become the basis for all that was to follow in the transmission of data from space.

Pickering's appointment as Director of the prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1954 ultimately placed in his hands the full responsibility for the United States unmanned exploration of the planets and the solar system. Among these were the Mariner spacecraft to Venus and Mercury, and the Viking mission to Mars. Under his direction, the successful Voyager craft sent back magnificently detailed photographs that depicted the character of the planets Jupiter and Saturn.

Dr. Pickering was instrumental in the dramatic advances made in space research, from the management of earth resources, to the character of near and deep space, and onward to the hidden secrets of the far planets of our Universe.

Invested 1968 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984

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Updated: March 12, 2004