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  John Billingham, SETI director (1930-2013)

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Author Topic:   John Billingham, SETI director (1930-2013)
Tykeanaut
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From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
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posted 08-27-2013 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found a tribute in our local newspaper on Friday evening. I had no idea that the city in which I now live had this connection.
John Billingham (March 18, 1930 – August 4, 2013) was a former director of the SETI Program Office and Director of the Life Sciences Division at the NASA Ames Research Center. After retiring from NASA he became a Trustee of the SETI Institute Board of Directors.

He was born in Worcester, England in 1930 and educated at the Royal Grammar School Worcester. From there he went on to Oxford University to study physiology. He gained a BM BCh degree from Oxford and Guy's Hospital, London (which is equivalent to an M.D. in the US). He served as a medical officer with the RAF for seven years, rising to the rank of Squadron Leader (equivalent to Major in the USAF). In 1963, he was invited to join NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where he headed the Environmental Physiology Branch, and worked on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. In 1965 he moved to the NASA Ames Research Center in California, where he headed up the Biotechnology Division, then the Extraterrestrial Research Division, and later the Life Science Division. In 2009 he was inducted into the NASA Ames Hall of Fame where he was recognized for his efforts as the Father of SETI in NASA. After retiring from NASA he joined the SETI Institute as Senior Scientist, and in 1995 he became a Member of the SETI Institute's Board of Trustees, serving a term as Vice-Chair.

He died at the age of 83 in Grass Valley, California in August 2013.

Source: Wikipedia

GACspaceguy
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posted 08-27-2013 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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randy
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East-Frisian
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jasonelam
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Kite
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David Carey
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mach3valkyrie
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dss65
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Joe Frasketi
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Gilbert
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kr4mula
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posted 09-04-2013 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The bio doesn't mention it, but Billingham was the key figure in bringing the idea of a liquid cooling garment (LCG) to NASA. He had worked on/designed similar garments for the RAF to cool fighter pilots in hot climates. From my research, it seems the Crew Systems Division encountered his reports and, later, Billingham himself at a conference. They brought him here, where he worked on designs for the NASA LCG. There is some dispute over whether his design or ILC's was more instrumental from then going forward, but I'm convinced that at least the genesis of the idea of the LCG for space suit cooling was his.

Godspeed.

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