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  NASA pioneer Aaron Cohen (1931-2010) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   NASA pioneer Aaron Cohen (1931-2010)
Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA Pioneer Aaron Cohen Dies

Spaceflight pioneer Aaron Cohen, a former director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, died Thursday, Feb. 25, after a lengthy illness. He was 79.

Cohen had a 33-year career with NASA. He was a steady hand at the helm of Johnson as NASA recovered from the shuttle Challenger tragedy and returned the space shuttle to flight. Cohen left the agency in 1993 to accept an appointment as a professor at his alma mater, Texas A&M University. At the time, he was serving as acting deputy administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington.


Credit: NASA TV

"Aaron Cohen was one of my early mentors here in NASA and he was instrumental in the success of numerous pivotal achievements in human space flight." said NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden from Headquarters in Washington. "His engineering expertise and rigor were tremendous assets to our nation and NASA. Aaron provided the critical and calm guidance needed at the Johnson Space Center to successfully recover from the Challenger accident and return the space shuttle to flight. We will miss him as a colleague, mentor, and a friend. Our hearts go out to his wife, Ruth, and the rest of his family."

Cohen joined NASA in 1962 and served in key leadership roles critical to the success of the flights and lunar landings of the Apollo Program. From 1969 to 1972, Cohen was the manager for the Apollo Command and Service Modules. He oversaw design, development, production and test flights of the space shuttles as manager of NASA's Space Shuttle Orbiter Project Office from 1972 to 1982. After serving as Director of Engineering at Johnson for several years, he was named director of the center in 1986, serving in that post until 1993.

"Aaron's expertise was critical to NASA's greatest achievements, and his integrity, talent and passion made it a privilege to work with him," said Mike Coats, Director of the Johnson Space Center. "He will be missed and long remembered by his many friends here at JSC."


Credit: NASA

Cohen's many honors include the highest award given for federal executives, the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive, with which he was received in 1982 and 1988. He was presented NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, three times. Cohen was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Astronautical Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was a distinguished alumnus of Texas A&M, from which he earned a bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering in 1952. He earned a master's in Applied Mathematics from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1958. He also was a recipient of honorary doctorates from Stevens Institute and from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

A moment of silence can be signified by a reply with no words and only a period.

Daniel Lazecky
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history in miniature
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Sy Liebergot
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One of my favorite people. A true gentleman.

Sy

Delta7
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Apollo-Soyuz
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As a memorial to Aaron Cohen, here is a scan of a cover he autographed as Orbiter Project Manager at JSC. The cover commemorated the rollout of Enterprise on September 17, 1976.

hlbjr
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kr4mula
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Godspeed.

Here is Aaron Cohen's oral history with the Johnson Space Center Oral History Project.

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Robert Pearlman
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Johnson Space Center notice
Former Center Director Aaron Cohen to be Honored

Aaron Cohen's long career and lasting legacy will be honored on Friday at 11:15 a.m. CDT. A tree will be planted in Cohen's memory in the memorial grove, and the Child Care Center will be renamed the "Aaron Cohen Child Care Center" in his honor.

During his more than 33 years of distinguished government service, Cohen brought technical excellence, integrity, dedication and leadership to JSC and NASA. In 1962, Cohen came to NASA and served in key leadership roles in the Apollo programs where his efforts were critical to the successes of all six U. S. lunar landings. Subsequently, he served as the manager for the space shuttle orbiter, directing the design, development, production and initial flight testing of the orbiter.

After the successful completion of the Space Shuttle orbital flight tests, Cohen was made responsible for all engineering and research at JSC until his selection as center director in 1986. In early 1992, he served as the agency's acting deputy administrator, returning to JSC in March 1993 as center director. Upon retiring in August 1993, Cohen happily joined his alma mater, Texas A&M University, as the Zachry Professor of Engineering.

Cohen was a leader in the space industry for more than three decades contributing to scientific and programmatic experience that remains unparalleled today.

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