Robert Rowe Gilruth

  • Wall of Honor Location:

    Foil: 13 Panel: 2 Column: 4 Line: 72

  • Wall of Honor Level:

    Air and Space Friend

  • Honored by:

    Georgene A. Gilruth

DR ROBERT ROWE GILRUTH, "the father of America's human space flight program;" born Nashwauk, Minn., October 8, 1913. Died August 17, 2000. BS and MS in Aeronautical Engineering, University of Minnesota 1935 & 1936.

Honorary degrees:
- Doctor of Science (DSc), George Washington University, University of Minnesota, and Indiana Institute of Technology, 1962
- Doctor of Engineering (DEng), Michigan Technology University, 1963; Doctor of Laws (LLD), New Mexico State University, 1970.

Employment:
- Flight research engineer. Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), Langley Field, VA, 1937-45. He managed the missile range at Wallops Island, VA.
- Chief Pilotless Aircraft Research Division, Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, NACA, 1945-50, Assistant Director, 1950-58.
- Director National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Project Mercury, 1958-61
- Director, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, TX, 1961-72.
- Director Key Personnel Development, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, 1972-73.
- Retired from NASA, December 1973.
- Consultant to Administrator, NASA, 1974.

- Director Bunker Ramo Corporation, experimenter and consultant, hydrofoil craft, 1938-58
- Advisor on guided missiles, aeronautics, and structures, high temperature facilities U.S. Department of Defense, 1947-58
- Member of committee on space systems NASA Space Advisory Council, 1972
- Chairman management development education panel NASA, 1972-73
- Member ad hoc committee fire safety aspects of polymeric materials — National Materials Advisory Board, 1973-74.

Awards:
- Sylvanus Albert Reed Award, Institute of Aerospace Sciences, 1950
- Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Minnesota, 1954
- Fellow of the American Astronautical Society, 1961
- Louis W. Hill Space Transportation Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1962
- NASA Distinguished Service Medal, 1962
- Goddard Memorial Trophy of the National Rocket Club, 1962
- Great Living American Award US Chamber of Commerce, 1962
- President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian, 1962
- Americanism award China-Burma-India Veterans' Association, 1965
- Spirit of Saint Louis Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1965
- Honorary Member of the Aerospace Medical Association
- Daniel and Florence Guggenheim International Astronautics Award of the International Academy of Astronautics, 1966
- Space Flight Award by the American Astronautical Society, 1966
- Distinguished Service Medals (Apollo 8 and Apollo 11), NASA, spring and fall 1969
- One of the first 10 persons installed in the National Space Hall of Fame, 1969
- Public Service "At Large" Award, Rockefeller Foundation, 1969
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers medal, 1970
- James Watt International Medal, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1971
- Achievement award National Aviation Club, 1971
- Robert J. Collier Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association and National Aviation Club, 1972
- International Space Hall of Fame, 1976
- City of New York Medal of Honor, 1985
- Louis W. Hill Space Transportation Award, 1985
- Robert H. Goddard Memorial trophy National Rocket Club, 1985
- National Air and Space Museum trophy, 1985
- International Aerospace Hall of Fame, San Diego, 1992
- National Aviation Hall of Fame, Dayton, Ohio, 1994

Memberships:
- Governor of the National Rocket Club, 1960
- Member National Academy of Engineering (aeronautics and space board), 1974
- National Academy of Sciences, 1974
- Fellow in American Astronautical Society
- Honorary fellow in American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Honorary fellow in Royal Aeronautical Society
- International Academy of Astronautics


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