Home - Search - Browse - Alphabetic Index: 0- 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9
A- B- C- D- E- F- G- H- I- J- K- L- M- N- O- P- Q- R- S- T- U- V- W- X- Y- Z
Rosen, Milton W
Rosen, Milton
Rosen, Milton
Rosen, Milton W
American engineer, at NRL 1940-1957. Supervised Viking rocket 1947-1955, Vanguard rocket 1955-1958. Took the fall for Vanguard's loss of space race to Sputnik. At NASA 1958-1974, involved in key launch vehicle decisions 1958-1963.

Born: 1915-07-25. Died: 2014-12-30.

Milton W. Rosen, an electrical engineer by training, joined the staff of the Naval Research Laboratory in 1940, where he worked on guidance systems for missiles during World War II. From 1947 to 1955, he was in charge of Viking rocket development. He was technical director of Project Vanguard, the scientific earth satellite program, until he joined NASA in October 1958 as director of launch vehicles and propulsion in the office of manned space flight. In 1963 he became senior scientist in NASA's office of the deputy associate administrator for defense affairs. He later became deputy associate administrator for space science (engineering). In 1974 he retired from NASA to become executive secretary of the National Academy of Science's Space Science Board. As of 2007 he was living in retirement in Maryland.

Obituary: Milton Rosen, rocket engineer and NASA executive, dies at 99
By Megan McDonough - Washington Post, January 24 2015

Milton W. Rosen, a rocket engineer and early NASA executive who led the United States’ first satellite venture, Project Vanguard, died Dec. 30 at a retirement community in Bethesda, Md. He was 99.

The cause was complications from prostate cancer, said a grandson, Michael Shapiro.

Mr. Rosen began his career at the dawn of Space Age, conducting research on the development of radar and missiles at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. At the end of 1945, he teamed with nuclear physicist Ernst H. Krause to establish the lab’s first rocket development program.

Until then, the United States was limited in its high-altitude experiments, using only a finite supply of captured German V-2 missiles to conduct research. Mr. Rosen believed the lab’s experience developing and researching missiles during World War II would be the ideal foundation for studying the utility, functionality and design of rockets.

Within months, he, Krause and other colleagues began to design and develop the multistage Viking rockets. The high-altitude rockets, which were launched between 1949 and 1955, helped demonstrate the potential of space exploration.

“I feel it’s inevitable that our youngsters will see a lot more [of space] than we have,” Mr. Rosen said in an interview on the early 1950s CBS television show “Longines Chronoscope.”

From 1947 to 1955, he served as the rocket program’s chief engineer and supervised development of the research missiles.

Mr. Rosen later was the technical director of a successor space program, Project Vanguard. More funds and attention were available to space programs after the Soviet Union launched the first satellite to successfully orbit Earth, Sputnik, in October 1957. Explorer 1 became the first U.S. satellite to do so, in January 1958.

A few months later, after a succession of launch failures, Mr. Rosen oversaw the success of Vanguard 1, the first solar-powered satellite and the second U.S. artificial satellite placed in Earth’s orbit. It remains the oldest man-made satellite in orbit. Advertisement

He moved to NASA headquarters in Washington at its inception in 1958 and served as the agency’s launch-vehicle director. He became a senior scientist in NASA’s office of the deputy associate administrator for defense affairs and deputy associate administrator for what is now science mission directorate.

In the 1960s, he helped oversee the development of innovative programs, including NASA’s Apollo spaceflight program in the 1960s.

Milton William Rosen was born in Philadelphia on July 25, 1915. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1937. Three years later, he joined the staff of the Naval Research Laboratory. He settled in Bethesda in the 1960s.

He retired from NASA in 1974 and later served at the National Academy of Sciences as executive director of its Space Applications Board. He taught a musical-comedy class at American University’s Institute for Learning in Retirement in Washington in the early 2000s.

He was a fellow of the American Rocket Society and wrote a book, “The Viking Rocket Story” (1955). Reviewing the book in the New York Times, science writer and editor Jonathan N. Leonard wrote, “Mr. Rosen has the literary touch, rare among engineers, to build up sympathy for both men and machines.”

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Josephine “Sally” Haar of Bethesda; three children, Nancy Shapiro of Silver Spring, Md., Deborah Elkinson of Arlington, Va., and Janet Rosen of Silver Spring; and five grandchildren.



Country: USA. Bibliography: 535, 5951.

1959 May 9 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Vega.
  • High-resolution photographs of the moon using Vega rocket - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rosen, Milton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft Bus: Lunar Orbiter. Spacecraft: Lunar Orbiter.

    Milton W. Rosen of NASA Headquarters proposed a plan for obtaining high-resolution photographs of the moon. A three-stage Vega would place the payload within a 500-mile diameter circle on the lunar surface. A stabilized retrorocket fired at 500 miles above the moon would slow the instrument package sufficiently to permit 20 photographs to be transmitted at a rate of one picture per minute. Additional Details: here....


1960 November 4 - .
  • Plan to set up informal technical liaison groups - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rosen, Milton. Program: Apollo.

    At a meeting, Charles J. Donlan of STG and George M. Low, John H. Disher, Milton W. Rosen, and Elliott Mitchell, all of NASA Headquarters, discussed a plan to set up informal technical liaison groups to broaden the base for inter-Center information exchange on the Apollo program with particular reference to onboard propulsion.


1961 November 6 - .
  • Working group on large launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Debus, Holmes, Brainard, Maus, Mrazek, Rosen, Milton. Program: Apollo.

    In a memorandum to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF), Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion, OMSF, described the organization of a working group to recommend to the Director a large launch vehicle program which would meet the requirements of manned space flight and which would have broad and continuing national utility for other NASA and DOD programs. The group would include members from the NASA Office of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion (Rosen, Chairman, Richard B. Canright, Eldon W. Hall, Elliott Mitchell, Norman Rafel, Melvyn Savage, and Adelbert O. Tischler); from the Marshall Space Flight Center (William A. Mrazek, Hans H. Maus, and James B. Bramlet); and from the NASA Office of Spacecraft and Flight Missions (John H. Disher). (David M. Hammock of MSC was later added to the group.) The principal background material to be used by the group would consist of reports of the Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group (Golovin Committee), the Fleming Committee, the Lundin Committee, the Heaton Committee, and the Debus-Davis Committee. Some of the subjects the group would be considering were:

    1. an assessment of the problems involved in orbital rendezvous,
    2. an evaluation of intermediate vehicles (Saturn C-3, C-4, and C-5),
    3. an evaluation of Nova-class vehicles,
    4. an assessment of the future course of large solid-fuel rocket motor development,
    5. an evaluation of the utility of the Titan III for NASA missions, and
    6. an evaluation of the realism of the spacecraft development program (schedules, weights, performances).
    Rosen set November 20 as a target date for a recommended program.

1961 November 20 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-5.
  • Rosen Group recommends direct ascent for the lunar landing mission mode - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard, Rosen, Milton. Program: Apollo. Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion, NASA Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF), submitted to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, OMSF, the report of the working group which had been set up on November 6.. Additional Details: here....

1961 November 20 - .
  • Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion in NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight, presented recommendations on rendezvous to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director of Manned Space Flight. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rosen, Milton. Spacecraft Bus: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini.

    The working group Rosen chaired had completed a two-week study of launch vehicles for manned spaceflight, examining most intensively the technical and operational problems posed by orbital rendezvous. Because the capability for rendezvous in space was essential to a variety of future missions, the group agreed that 'a vigorous high priority rendezvous development effort must be undertaken immediately.' Its first recommendation was that a program be instituted to develop rendezvous capability on an urgent basis.


1961 December 4 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Rosen working group on launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard, Rosen, Milton. Program: Apollo.

    NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., commented to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, Office of Manned Space Flight, on the report of the Rosen working group on launch vehicles, which had been submitted on November 20. Seamans expressed himself as essentially in accord with the group's recommendations.


1961 December 21 - .
  • Saturn C-5 launch vehicle configuration selected - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rosen, Milton, von Braun. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo Lunar Landing. Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Landing.

    Rosen Committee studies in November and December indicated that the most flexible choice for Apollo was the Saturn C-4, with two required for the earth orbit rendezvous approach or one for the lunar orbit rendezvous mission, with a smaller landed payload. The panel rejected solid motors again, but Rosen himself still pushed for Nova. An extra F-1 engine was 'slid in' for insurance, resulting in the Saturn C-5 configuration. The Manned Space Flight Management Council decided at its first meeting that the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle would have a first stage configuration of five F-1 engines and a second stage configuration of five J-2 engines. The third stage would be the S-IVB with one J-2 engine. It recommended that the contractor for stage integration of the Saturn C-1 be Chrysler Corporation and that the contractor for stage integration of the Saturn C-5 be The Boeing Company. Contractor work on the Saturn C-5 should proceed immediately to provide a complete design study and a detailed development plan before letting final contracts and assigning large numbers of contractor personnel to Marshall Space Flight Center or Michoud.


1961 December 21 - .
  • Formation of the Manned Space Flight Management Council - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard, Rees, Rosen, Milton, Shea, von Braun. Program: Apollo.

    D. Brainerd Holmes, Director of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, announced the formation of the Manned Space Flight Management Council. The Council, which was to meet at least once a month, was to identify and resolve difficulties and to coordinate the interface problems in the manned space flight program. Members of the Council, in addition to Holmes, were: from MSC, Robert R. Gilruth and Walter C. Williams, Director and Associate Director; from Marshall Space Flight Center, Wernher von Braun, Director, and Eberhard F. M. Rees, Deputy Director for Research and Development; from NASA Headquarters, George M. Low, Director of Spacecraft and Flight Missions; Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion; Charles H. Roadman, Director of Aerospace Medicine; William E. Lilly, Director of Program Review and Resources Management; and Joseph F. Shea, Deputy Director for Systems Engineering, Shea, formerly Space Programs Director for Space Technology Laboratories, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., had recently joined NASA.


1962 April 24 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Rosen recommends Saturn C-5 design and lunar orbit rendezvous - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rosen, Milton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, Apollo Lunar Landing, CSM Recovery, LM Mode Debate, LM Source Selection.

    Milton W. Rosen, NASA Office of Manned Space Flight Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion, recommended that the S-IVB stage be designed specifically as the third stage of the Saturn C-5 and that the C-5 be designed specifically for the manned lunar landing using the lunar orbit rendezvous technique. The S-IVB stage would inject the spacecraft into a parking orbit and would be restarted in space to place the lunar mission payload into a translunar trajectory. Rosen also recommended that the S- IVB stage be used as a flight test vehicle to exercise the command module (CM), service module (SM), and lunar excursion module (LEM) (previously referred to as the lunar excursion vehicle (LEV)) in earth orbit missions. The Saturn C-1 vehicle, in combination with the CM, SM, LEM, and S-IVB stage, would be used on the most realistic mission simulation possible. This combination would also permit the most nearly complete operational mating of the CM, SM, LEM, and S-IVB prior to actual mission flight.


1963 February 20 - .
  • NASA reorganized the Office of Manned Space Flight - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard, Rosen, Milton, Shea. Program: Apollo.

    In a reorganization of OMSF, Director D. Brainerd Holmes appointed Joseph F. Shea as Deputy Director for Systems and George M. Low as Deputy Director for Programs. All major OMSF directorates had previously reported directly to Holmes. In the new organizational structure, Director of Systems Studies William A. Lee, Director of Systems Engineering John A. Gautraud, and Director of Integration and Checkout James E. Sloan would report to Shea. Director of Launch Vehicles Milton W. Rosen, Director of Space Medicine Charles H. Roadman, and the Director of Spacecraft and Flight Missions (then vacant) would report to Low. William E. Lilly, Director of Administration, would provide administrative support in both major areas.



Home - Search - Browse - Alphabetic Index: 0- 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9
A- B- C- D- E- F- G- H- I- J- K- L- M- N- O- P- Q- R- S- T- U- V- W- X- Y- Z
© 1997-2016 Mark Wade - Contact
© / Conditions for Use