Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: NASA
Myers, Dale Dehaven (1922-) American aerodynamicist, charismatic manager that went many times through the revolving door between industry and government. Key roles in Hound Dog, Apollo, Shuttle, and B-1 programs.

Myers, the son of a physician, was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington, graduating in 1943. Myers was immediately hired by North American, beginning as an aerodynamicist for Harrison Storms. He ended up in the missile division, where he ran the Hound Dog air-launched cruise missile program in the 1950's. By that time Myers was a dashing young executive with an eye patch, testament to an eye lost in a sports car accident. But his management style was methodical and inexorable, and he never made a promise to a customer, company internal staff, or vendor that he didn't' keep.

In the spring of 1964 Storms named him to replace the high-energy but difficult Paup as Apollo spacecraft program manager at North American. Myers, together with Joe Shea on the NASA side, managed to lower the volume in the clash between customer and contractor, and both men worked to get the program back under control. Myers survived the management purge after the Apollo 1 fire and under his direction the Apollo spacecraft completed development and accomplished its mission of putting an American on the moon in 1969.

Myers was then made Program Manager for the Space Shuttle Program at the company. He left industry to become Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA from 1970-1974 (cumulating in award of the space shuttle development contract to his previous employer). He then returned to what was now Rockwell International, working as President, North American Aircraft Group, where he oversaw development of the B-1 bomber. Then it was through the revolving door once again, with a stint as Under Secretary of the US Department of Energy from 1977-1979 in the Carter administration.

Back to industry, and Myers served as President of Jacobs Engineering Group until 1984, when the company received its first federal contract, a $1 billion job to clean-up 24 low-level radioactive sites. After two years as a consultant, Myers was appointed NASA Deputy Administrator in October 1986. He left the Agency in May 1989, again providing his consulting services as a free-lancer. He was notably involved in the Kistler Aerospace attempt to produce a low-cost, reusable launch vehicle. This failed to find commercial funding, but finally received a NASA contract in 2006 to complete development.

Official NASA Biography

Dale D. Myers was appointed in October 1986 to replace Dr. William R. Graham as NASA Deputy Administrator; Dr. Graham had left NASA to become Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Before accepting this position, Mr. Myers had served as an at-large member to the NASA Advisory Council, the organization created to provide advice and counsel to NASA top management on aeronautics and space programs. From 1984 to 1986, he was a private consultant in Aerospace and Energy. From 1979 to 1984, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., in Pasadena, California.

Mr. Myers was Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from 1977-1979. From 1974-1977 he was Vice-President, Rockwell International, and President, North American Aircraft Group, El Segundo, California. He was the Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA from 1970-1974. From 1969-1970 Mr. Myers served as Vice-President/Program Manager, Space Shuttle Program, Rockwell International. He was Vice-President and Program Manager, Apollo Command/Service Module Program, North American-Rockwell from 1964-1969.

Mr. Myers was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 8, 1922. He graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1943 with a B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering and received an honorary doctorate from Whitworth College in 1970.


Education: Washington.

Birth Place: Kansas City, Missouri.

Born: 1922.01.08.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Launius, Roger D, NASA Chief Historian, NASA History Office Home Page, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Lay, Beirne Jr, Earthbound Astronauts, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1971.
  • Gray, Mike, Angle of Attack: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon, Penguin Reprint edition, 1994.

Myers Chronology

1943 October 2 - .
  • First U.S. military rocket-powered airplane. - . Crew: Myers. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Myers. Summary: First U.S. military rocket-powered airplane, the Rocket Ram, was tested as a glider by John Myers. It was equipped with an Aerojet XCAL-200 engine, using monoethylanline as fuel..

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