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Dale Dehaven Myers (January 8, 1922 – May 19, 2015) was an American aerospace engineer who was Deputy Administrator of NASA, serving between October 6, 1986 and May 13, 1989. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1943.

BiographyEdit

Myers was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 8, 1922,Template:Sfn to a physician.Template:Sfn His boyhood hero was Charles Lindbergh, an aviator who became famous after crossing the Atlantic by aircraft. Aged 5, Myers met Lindbergh and shook his hand; in a 2008 interview, Myers recalled "that did it. That did it."Template:Sfn

Between 1939 and 1940 Myers attended Kansas City Junior College, then in 1943 he graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. In the mid-1940s he was involved in the development of various aircraft for Project Aerodynamicist, including the North American F-82 Twin Mustang. From 1946 until 1957 he began working in missile development, until he was selected as vice-president and weapons systems manager.Template:Sfn By this time he had lost his left eye in an automobile accident.Template:Sfn

In 1963 Myers migrated to Rockwell International, and the following year he began contract work for NASA's space program. From 1964 he was the program manager of the Apollo program's Command/Service Module Program, replacing John W. Paup.Template:Sfn After a fire destroyed Apollo 1 and killed three astronauts in January 1967, much of the program's management was purged; Myers, however, was retained.Template:Sfn He migrated to the Space Shuttle program in 1969,Template:Sfn soon after Apollo 11's historic moon landing.Template:Sfn Myers later described his work with Apollo as a highlight of his career.Template:Sfn

In 1970 Myers was promoted to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA, replacing George Mueller.Template:Sfn In this position he stayed at mission control when Apollo 13 experienced a crippling explosion;Template:Sfn later he promoted the selection of Harrison Schmitt as geologist for Apollo 17.Template:Sfn He served until 1974.Template:Sfn During this time he earned three NASA Distinguished Service Medals, one in 1971 for his work on the Apollo program and two in 1974 (one for his work on Skylab and the Shuttle, the other for his work towards manned spaceflight).Template:Sfn In 1970 he also received an honorary doctorate from Whitworth College.Template:Sfn Myers was a president of the National Academy of Engineering.Template:Sfn

Apollo 16 meeting

Myers, center-right, during a meeting to discuss whether Apollo 16 should land on the moon (1972)

Afterwards he returned to Rockwell, serving as its vice president; during this period he also served as president of North American Aircraft Group,Template:Sfn during which time the company developed the Rockwell B-1 Lancer.Template:Sfn Myers was Under Secretary at the Department of Energy (1977–1979). For the five years, from 1979 to 1984, Myers served as president and COO of Jacobs Engineering Group; he then became a private consultant,Template:Sfn operating his own company known as Dale D. Myers & Associates Aerospace and Energy.Template:Sfn

On October 6, 1986, eleven months after the Challenger disaster, Myers was selected as Deputy Administrator of NASA.Template:Sfn Myers was initially unwilling to accept the position, but after a telephone call from the "persuasive" president Ronald Reagan,Template:Sfn Myers accepted the position.Template:Sfn Replacing William Robert Graham, he was tasked with helping the agency recoup and continue the Space Shuttle program;Template:Sfn in a Senate hearing, Myers argued that the agency had lost its "hands-on, loving care" and that the checks and balances system had "gone soft".Template:Sfn He resigned effective May 13, 1989,Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn having served as acting administrator in place of James C. Fletcher for almost a month.Template:Sfn NASA historian Roger Launius credits Myers with bringing a sense of optimism to the agency following the disaster.Template:Sfn

After leaving NASA Myers returned to private consulting, later becoming involved in the failed Kistler Aerospace program.Template:Sfn Myers and his wife retired in La Costa, California. He continued to speak publicly about the space program, including giving testimonial before Congress in 2003.Template:Sfn Myers died on May 19, 2015, at La Costa Glen. He was survived by his two daughters, Janet and Barbara, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.Template:Sfn

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Works citedEdit

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