Robert L. Krieger began his career with the NACA and NASA at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory in 1936 as a laboratory apprentice. Leaving the NACA for college, he earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech in 1943 and returned to Langley. From there, he was part of the group that set up the Pilotless Aircraft Research Station at Wallops Island under Robert R. Gilruth in 1945. In 1948 he became the head of the Wallops facility, which performed aerodynamic tests on instrumented models propelled at high speeds. In 1958 Wallops became an independent field center of NASA; there, Krieger led the first successful test flight of the Mercury capsule. During his career there, Wallops launched thousands of test vehicles, including 19 satellites. He retired as director in 1981.