- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 11, 2004

Robert Jackson, 71, NASA engineer

Robert Jackson, a longtime NASA engineer, died Oct. 27 of cardiac arrest at Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, N.H. He was 71.

Born Feb. 16, 1933, in Point Pleasant, N.J., he served in the Air Force from 1952 to 1957. After graduating in 1961 from the University of Maryland with a degree in electrical engineering, he began a 29-year career with NASA, working at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.

His responsibility was the spacecraft antenna system, and he eventually became the head of the Antenna Technology Section. His branch was responsible for the radio-frequency systems of every Goddard in-house spacecraft and many of the out-of-house programs. He was involved in UK-1 and UK-2, the first international satellite programs.

He received a Presidential Design Award for his work on the International Ultraviolet Explorer, one of the most successful scientific spacecraft ever flown. His last big program as a government employee was the Cosmic Background Explorer, the spacecraft that found what was thought to be the “ripples” in the background radiation from the “big bang.”

He left NASA in 1989 to work on the Hubble Space Telescope Project for McDonnell Douglas Space Systems. He worked for the first and second Hubble Space Telescope Project Servicing Missions and enjoyed working with astronauts for the first time in his long career.

After his retirement in 1998 and his subsequent move to Hancock, N.H., he was active in the First Congregational Church of Hancock; the Hancock Historical Society, for which he served as president three years; the Hancock Republican Club, and the Wednesday meetings of the “Old Crocks.”

Survivors include his wife, Sandra Vogel Jackson of Hancock; a son, Christopher Jackson of Silver Spring; two daughters, Kathryn J. Barthelme of Towson, Md., and Robbyn Jackson of San Francisco; one grandson and five stepgrandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made in Mr. Jackson’s name to Hancock Rescue Squad, Route 137, Hancock, NH 03449; the First Congregational Church of Hancock, 47 Main Street, Hancock, NH 03449; or the Hancock Historical Society, 7 Main St., Hancock, NH 03449.

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