NASA Ames celebrates aviation history and employee’s 90th birthday
August 22, 2015
By Jim Sharkey
As NASA encouraged America to commemorate National Aviation Day on Wednesday, Aug. 19, one long-time NASA Ames Research Center employee also celebrated his 90th birthday. John W. “Jack” Boyd started at Ames as an aeronautical engineer in 1947 when it was the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, part of NASA’s predecessor the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).
Boyd’s work at Ames involved wind tunnel studies of subsonic and supersonic aircraft and included significant contributions to the theories of conical camber. He also did early research on the design of planetary probes for the exploration of Venus and Mars, and helped develop initial configurations for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo capsules. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Boyd served in a number of managerial positions at NASA Ames.
Following eight years in the University of Texas system as Chancellor for Research and teaching courses in aerodynamics, engineering, and history of spaceflight, Boyd returned to NASA Ames to establish Aerospace Encounter, an educational outreach program for middle school students.
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