R. Gilbert (Gil) Moore began his 60 year career as a rocket propulsion engineer in 1947 working as a student assistant at New Mexico State University's Physical Science Laboratory. As a student he performed radio telemetry data reduction and installed upper atmospheric and solar research instrumentation in captured German V-2 rockets. In 1949 after graduating with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering, he became professional staff at the Laboratory. During the next thirteen years he supervised teams of students and professionals in instrumenting and launching hundreds of flight test and upper atmospheric research sounding rockets from the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico as well as from locations in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Moore moved to Ogden, Utah, in 1962 to become the founding general manager of the Astromet Division of Thiokol Corporation. During the next twenty years, this organization built and launched several hundred sounding rockets and six satellite experiments from sites around the world to measure various characteristics of Earth's ionosphere, thermosphere and magnetosphere. The Division also manufactured, installed and operated radio telemetry systems for monitoring meteorological and hydrologic variables in the mountains of the Western United States and Canada.
In 1981, Mr. Moore transferred to Thiokol's Wasatch Division, where he served as special projects manager for the Space Shuttle solid rocket motor program and as principal investigator for gossamer space structures. He became the Thiokol Wasatch Division's director of external affairs in 1985 and represented the corporation to the press and public during the Space Shuttle Challenger accident investigation. He retired in 1987.
Moore spent the next two years with Globesat, Inc., a small spacecraft manufacturer in Logan, Utah, as vice-president for advanced programs. In July of 1989 he joined Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory as a senior research scientist. In 1994, he retired from SDL and moved to Monument, Colorado, to join the Astronautics Department of the United States Air Force Academy as the first occupant of the General Bernard A. Schriever Chair in Space Systems Engineering. During the next two years, he led an initiative to teach upper-division cadets to design and build small spacecraft for flight on military launch vehicles. After setting up an extremely successful program, he retired from the Air Force in 1996.
After retiring from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Moore established Project Starshine, a volunteer student satellite project designed to measure the response of Earth's atmosphere to storms on the Sun, during an eleven-year solar cycle. Some 25,030 children in 660 schools in 18 countries worked in teams to polish 878 mirrors that covered the outside of the satellite and reflected flashes of sunlight to ground-based observers during twilight passes of the satellite over their locations. Between 2000 and 2002 two more Starshine Satellites were launched into orbit. In addition to introducing students to space research, important data was gathered for the science community on the effects of solar extreme ultraviolet radiation on satellite orbital decay.
Gil Moore has a long history with Utah State University. In 1976 he and his wife, Phyllis, purchased and donated to Utah State University the first Space Shuttle "Get Away Special" (GAS) experiment that NASA made available to the general public. The Moores assisted students over the next six years to build microgravity experiments that flew in space in the GAS-001 canister mounted in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Columbia. The Moores also purchased four additional GAS flight slots and donated them to Utah State University and Weber State University. Even as late as 2013 he funded three USU GAS satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. In 1987 Moore co-founded the highly successful Small Satellite Conference. In 2014 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Physics from USU. Mr. Moore has been an adjunct instructor in the physics department at USU starting in 1976.
Gil Moore has been active with numerous organizations such as the American Rocket Society and its successor the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Utah's Advisory Council on Science and Technology, the Hansen Planetarium, the Utah Science Center Authority, and the Utah State University Research Foundation board of trustees. He is a life member of the Air Force Association and has been a member of the American Meteorological Society, the Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of the Sigma Xi, the U.S. Space Foundation, the National Space Foundation, the Aerospace States Association, and the Space Business Roundtable. Additionally, he has served as an unofficial advisor on space issues for two U.S. Congressman, two U.S. senators, and three state governors.
Mr. Moore has received the NASA Public Service Medal, the AIAA Distinguished Service Award, Utah State University's Distinguished Service Award, the Utah Council's Professional Engineer of the Year Award, the Utah Education Association's Teacher of the Year Award, a Doctor of Humanities Degree from Weber State University, the Governor of Utah's Medal for Science and Technology, an Aviation Week and Space Technology Laurel Award, the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce's Order of the Big Hat Award, the OgdenExchange Club's Book of Golden Deeds, Ogden City's Honorary Citizen Award, and most recently, he and his wife jointly received a Stellar Award from the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation in Houston, Texas.