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Author Topic:   Hans Mark, NASA deputy admin (1929-2021)
Robert Pearlman

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Hans Mark, NASA's sixth deputy administrator who served from 1981 to 1984, died on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. He was 92.

From the Austin American-Statesman:

He died at Westminster senior home in Austin and had suffered from progressive dementia.

A native of Germany who spent his childhood in Austria, Mark served as a longtime aerospace engineering professor at UT, as well as secretary of the Air Force and deputy administrator of NASA. He worked in Mission Control during the first moon landing and persuaded President Ronald Reagan to establish the space station program.

A brief biography prepared by the NASA History Office:

Dr. Hans Mark became Deputy Administrator of NASA in July 1981. He had previously served as Secretary of the Air Force from July 1979 until February 1981, and as Under Secretary of the Air Force since 1977.

Dr. Mark was born in Mannheim, Germany, June 17, 1929. He came to the United States in 1940, and became a citizen in 1945. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1951 and his doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954.

In February 1969, Mark became director of NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California, where he managed the center's research and applications efforts in aeronautics, space science, life science and space technology.

He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in physics and engineering at Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California at both the Berkeley and Davis campuses.

Following completion of graduate studies, Dr. Mark remained at MIT as a research associate and acting head of the Neutron Physics Group, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, until 1955. He then returned to the University of California at Berkeley as a research physicist at the University's Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore until 1958.

He subsequently served as an assistant professor of physics at MIT before returning to the University of California's Livermore Radiation Laboratory's Experimental Physics Division from 1960 until 1964. He then became chairman of the university's Department of Nuclear Engineering and administrator of the Berkeley Research Reactor until joining NASA at Ames.

Dr. Mark has served as a consultant to government, industry and business, including the Institute for Defense Analyses and the President's Advisory Group on Science and Technology.

He has authored many articles for professional and technical journals. He also co-authored the books "Experiments in Modern Physics" and "Power and Security," and co-edited "The Properties of Matter under Unusual Conditions." He also published "The Space Station: A Personal Journey" (Duke University Press, 1987), and "The Management of Research Institutions" (NASA SP-481, 1984).

When Dr. Mark left NASA in 1984 he became Chancellor of the University of Texas system, a post he held until 1992. He then became a senior professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Texas-Austin. In July 1998, he took a job at the Pentagon, becoming the Director, Defense Research and Engineering. In January 2001, he returned to the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and the University of Texas at Austin.

Mark took part in a NASA Oral History interview in July 2015.

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