Samuel T. "Sam" Beddingfield, one of the original engineers to report to Cape Canaveral, Fla. to work for NASA in 1959, passed away this morning (June 13, 2012). He was 78.
From a [URL=http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/lifetime_award.html]NASA profile[/URL] written about Beddingfield in 2006 on his being awarded the National Space Club's Lifetime Achievement Award:
[i]Beddingfield retired from NASA in 1985 after a 26-year career with the nation's space agency. He joined NASA at the insistence of Gus Grissom and came to Florida in 1959 to help guide Project Mercury. He was among the first to work on the space shuttle at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and left the program as deputy director of shuttle operations.
Beddingfield shared that he was one of just 33 employees at the spaceport; when employees were assigned numbers, he was number four. "I had worked through 23 [shuttle] launches and decided enough was enough," he said about his decision to end his exciting career.[/i]
Credit: [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_T._Beddingfield]Wikipedia[/URL]/Gary Blakeley
Beddingfield was a long-time volunteer and board member for the [URL=http://www.spacewalkoffame.com/]U.S. Space Walk of Fame[/URL] Foundation. He could often be found in the foundation's Titusville museum, giving tours and sharing his stories and experiences working for NASA.
Credit: [URL=http://www.retrospaceimages.com]Retro Space Images[/URL]/JL Pickering
Memorial services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Tituvsille, Fla. at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 16. [i]A moment of silence can be signified by a reply with no words and only a period.[/i]