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Myers, Dale Dehaven
Myers
Myers
Credit: NASA
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.

Born: 1922-01-08. Died: 2015-05-19. Birth Place: Kansas City, Missouri.

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.


Wikipedia: 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.

Myers was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 8, 1922, to a physician. 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."

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. By this time he had lost his left eye in an automobile accident.

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. 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. He migrated to the Space Shuttle program in 1969, soon after Apollo 11's historic moon landing. Myers later described his work with Apollo as a highlight of his career.

In 1970 Myers was promoted to Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA, replacing George Mueller. In this position he stayed at mission control when Apollo 13 experienced a crippling explosion; later he promoted the selection of Harrison Schmitt as geologist for Apollo 17. He served until 1974. 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). In 1970 he also received an honorary doctorate from Whitworth College. Myers was a president of the National Academy of Engineering.

Afterwards he returned to Rockwell, serving as its vice president; during this period he also served as president of North American Aircraft Group, during which time the company developed the Rockwell B-1 Lancer. Myers was Under Secretary at the Department of Energy (19771979). For the five years, from 1979 to 1984, Myers served as president and COO of Jacobs Engineering Group; he then became a private consultant, operating his own company known as Dale D. Myers & Associates Aerospace and Energy.

On October 6, 1986, eleven months after the Challenger disaster, Myers was selected as Deputy Administrator of NASA. Myers was initially unwilling to accept the position, but after a telephone call from the "persuasive" president Ronald Reagan, Myers accepted the position. Replacing William Robert Graham, he was tasked with helping the agency recoup and continue the Space Shuttle program; 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". He resigned effective May 13, 1989, having served as acting administrator in place of James C. Fletcher for almost a month. NASA historian Roger Launius credits Myers with bringing a sense of optimism to the agency following the disaster.

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



Country: USA. Bibliography: 4472, 535, 680, 5816.

1922 January 8 - .
  • Birth of Dale Dehaven Myers - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Myers. 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..

1943 October 2 - .
  • First U.S. military rocket-powered airplane. - . Crew: Myers. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Myers. 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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