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  JR Thompson, NASA Dep Admin (1936-2017)

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Author Topic:   JR Thompson, NASA Dep Admin (1936-2017)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-09-2017 12:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
James Robert "J.R." Thompson, Jr., a former deputy administrator of NASA, died on Tuesday (Nov. 7). He was 81.
He began his professional career at Pratt-Whitney, West Palm Beach, FL as a development engineer. In 1963, he joined the research and development team at the Marshall Space Flight Center as a systems engineer, responsible for component design and performance analysis associated with the J-2 engine for Saturn Apollo launch vehicles.

In 1966, he moved to the Space Engine Section in the Propulsion & Vehicle Engineering Laboratory and became chief of the section in 1968. In 1969, as Chief of the Man/Systems Integration Branch in the Astronautics Laboratory, he managed the design, test and integration engineering for the interface between man and machines that was essential to the development of Skylab.

In 1974, Mr. Thompson was chosen to manage the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project, the most technologically challenging element of the Space Shuttle. He was responsible for the development and operation of the most advanced liquid propulsion rocket engine ever developed. He served in that position almost from the inception of early development testing on the Space Shuttle Main Engine through the initial Shuttle flights.

He accepted an invitation from Princeton University to join its faculty as Deputy Director for Technical Operations at its Plasma Physics Laboratory in 1983, where he specialized in fusion energy research. Following the failure of the Shuttle 51-L Mission in January 1986, NASA mobilized its best talent to support the Presidential Commission appointed to investigate the failure. Mr. Thompson responded to the call to return to NASA on a furlough from the University, and played a prominent role in the investigation, leading the effort in a dual assignment as Vice Chairman of the Task Force and Leader of the Accident Analysis Team.

In September 1986, he again responded to a call from NASA and left Princeton University to return to NASA as Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center to direct a major effort to return the Space Shuttle to safe space flight. Mr. Thompson initiated the largest cooperative effort in the history of NASA. His aggressive approach to and oversight of the program inspired the recovery team and demanded their best efforts. The redesigned Solid Rocket Booster and all other elements of the propulsion system successfully withstood every test, including the ultimate test of the flawless launch of the STS-26 mission on September 29, 1986.

In July 1989, Mr. Thompson was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He served as the second ranking official with NASA, participating in all matters pertaining to the management of the United States Civilian Space Program. This program encompassed manned space flight, the development of the Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope, aeronautics, and space science and exploration.

He retired from NASA in November 1991, and joined Orbital Sciences Corporation. During Mr. Thompson's tenure at Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital), he served as Chief Technical Officer from 1991 to 1993; Executive Vice President and General Manager, Launch Systems Group, from 1993 to 1999; and as President and Chief Operating Officer from 1999 to April 2011. He then served as Senior Advisor beginning in May 2011 until his retirement in 2013. In his positions with Orbital, Mr. Thompson directed engineering and manufacturing activities leading to over 350 successful satellite, rocket and related space missions.

David C
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cspg
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mode1charlie
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Panther494
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GACspaceguy
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Jeff
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capoetc
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Lunar rock nut
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1202 Alarm
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David Carey
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randy
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Larry McGlynn
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posted 11-09-2017 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice guy. Met him at a Harvard B School symposium on the business of commercial space flight. He was representing Orbital at the time.

Kite
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gareth89
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MB
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Rick Mulheirn
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