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Ex-NASA manned spaceflight director Holmes dies
Holmes, who was born in New York in 1921, was an influential figure in the aeronautics and aerospace industries during a career that lasted more than 40 years.
Holmes also helped lay the groundwork for the Apollo program and America’s ambitious venture to the moon. He was featured in a Time Magazine cover story on Aug. 10, 1962, which had the tag line “Reaching for the Moon.”
“NASA was still relatively young and senior administrators wanted to beef up leadership and management experience at headquarters in Washington,” Jacobs said in an e-mailed statement. “Holmes‘ expertise in electrical engineering and management was seen as essential to not only study problems but to offer solutions as NASA began to focus its attention on the Apollo program and the race to the moon.”
After leaving NASA, Holmes joined Raytheon Company as a director. He was later named president of Raytheon, which produced radar and communications systems as well as the Sparrow, Patriot and Sidewinder missiles. He retired in 1986.
Before joining NASA, Holmes worked for Western Electric, Bell Telephone Laboratories and the Radio Corporation of America. With RCA, he helped develop the U.S.’s Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.
Holmes received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1943 from Cornell University. As an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he completed graduate studies in radar at both M.I.T. and Bowdoin College. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of New Mexico in 1963 and an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1978.
“I remember Brainerd as kind, witty, and very patriotic,” Ledbetter said. “Everything he did, he did for his country.”
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