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  Mercury manager Kenny Kleinknecht (1919-2007)

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Author Topic:   Mercury manager Kenny Kleinknecht (1919-2007)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-22-2007 12:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mercury manager Kenny Kleinknecht (1919-2007)

Mercury Project Manager Kenneth "Kenny" Samuel Kleinknecht passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007 in Colorado.

NASA's brief biography of Kleinknecht cites:

Kenneth S. Kleinknecht started his career in 1942 at the Lewis Research Center after graduating from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. In 1951, Kleinknecht transferred to the Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. After NASA formed, he then transferred to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston in 1959.

Before being named the manager of the Mercury project, Kleinknecht was active in the National Air Races, served as supervisor for a number of avionics tests at Lewis, and was the Head of the Project Engineering Station for the X-1E.

Additionally, Kleinknecht served as the Advanced Projects Management Officer on the X-15 project and as the Technical Assistant to the Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center.

Kleinknecht later was named Deputy Manager of the Gemini Project Office; Manager for the Command and Service Modules in the Apollo Spacecraft Office; Manager of the Skylab Program Office; and Asst. Manager for the Space Shuttle Orbiter Project.

Before departing NASA in 1981 to work for Martin Marietta (Lockheed Martin) until he retired in 1990, Kleinknecht served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Flight in the Space Transportation Systems Division for European Operations and the Spacelab Program.

His final position with NASA after 22 years of service was as shuttle Columbia's first vehicle manager, leading up to its maiden launch.

Among Kleinknecht's many honors were the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership from the President of the United States (1963); the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1969); and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal (1969, 1973).

Before his passing, Kleinknecht participated in two NASA oral history interviews, first in September 1998, and then again in July 2000.

Kleinknecht (left) shares breakfast with Apollo 7 crew members Donn Eisele, Wally Schirra and Walt Cunningham (not pictured) before their launch in 1968.

A moment of silence is signified by an entry with no words and only a period.

cspg
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posted 11-22-2007 01:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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E2M Lem Man
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posted 11-22-2007 02:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Apollo-Soyuz
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posted 11-22-2007 04:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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KSCartist
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posted 11-22-2007 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My prayers for his family and friends. My gratitude for his service.

GACspaceguy
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posted 11-22-2007 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Delta7
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posted 11-22-2007 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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cddfspace
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posted 11-22-2007 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cddfspace   Click Here to Email cddfspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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x9jep
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posted 11-22-2007 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for x9jep   Click Here to Email x9jep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Godspeed

dss65
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posted 11-22-2007 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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astrobock
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kyra
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posted 11-23-2007 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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divemaster
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posted 11-23-2007 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Joe Frasketi
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Lunar rock nut
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posted 11-25-2007 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Praise for many years of service!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-25-2007 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In lieu of flowers, the Kleinknecht family has asked that any memorial goes to The Pastor's Discretionary Fund, Columbine United Church, 6375 S Platte Canyon Rd., Littleton, CO 80123-6534.

mark plas
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posted 11-25-2007 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark plas   Click Here to Email mark plas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Jerry Brouillette
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posted 11-26-2007 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Brouillette   Click Here to Email Jerry Brouillette     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Henk Boshuijer
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posted 11-29-2007 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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KC Stoever
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posted 12-07-2007 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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KC Stoever
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posted 12-07-2007 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My condolences to the Kleinknecht family.

I read the NASA bio with some puzzlement, however.

Kenny Kleinknecht was named to NASA's vaunted Space Task Group (STG) in an urgently needed staffing up, official as of September 1959.

He was requested specifically either by Abe Silverstein (Lewis) or Gilruth (Langley). He and Walt Williams had both been based--prior to their assignments to the STG--at the NACA facility at Edwards.

Here's an account from THIS NEW OCEAN.

Here's the thing: Kleinknecht joined the new space administration not in Houston (as the bio states), where NASA had no presence yet, but at Langley. I do wish official biographies would get these historically important places right.

Now of course NASA is synonymous with the Cape or Houston. But at the beginning, NASA really meant HQ in Washington or Langley and the STG gang, and official histories (in which biographies figure) should strive to get these geographical and organizational facts right, imho.

Anyway, his importance to Project Mercury and Gemini can't be overstated, and of course he was critical in getting Apollo back on track after the fire. A great man.

Now I hope I didn't mangle any facts in posting thus here!

spaceman1953
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posted 01-10-2008 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just received communication from the church in Colorado... Neil Armstrong flew in for the service.

That's nice!

All times are CT (US)

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