Encyclopedia Astronautica
Holmes, Brainard


Holmes, D Brainard (1921-) American engineer and senior manager, at Bell 1945-1953; RCA, 1953-1961; Deputy Associate Administration for Manned Space Flight at NASA, 1961-1963. Thereafter at Raytheon 1963-1982, and Beechcraft from 1982.

D. Brainard Holmes was involved in the management of high technology efforts in private industry and the federal government. He was on the staff of Bell Telephone Labs, 1945-1953, and at RCA, 1953-1961. He then became deputy associate administration for Manned Space Flight at NASA, 1961-1963. Thereafter he assumed a series of increasingly senior positions with Raytheon Corp., and since 1982 chairman of Beech Aircraft.

Born: 1921.

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Bibliography
  • Launius, Roger D, NASA Chief Historian, NASA History Office Home Page, Web Address when accessed: here.

Holmes, Brainard Chronology


1961 September 21 - .
  • D. Brainerd Holmes appointed NASA's Director of Manned Space Flight Programs. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. As general manager of Radio Corporation of America's Major Defense Systems Division, Holmes had been project manager of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. Congressman G. P. Miller (D.-Calif.) succeeded the recently deceased Congressman Overton Brooks of Louisiana as chairman of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics.

1961 September 24 - .
  • NASA reorganization - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth; Holmes, Brainard; Silverstein; Webb; Dixon. Program: Mercury. NASA Administrator Webb announced major organizational changes and top-level appointments to become effective November 1. The reorganization should provide a clearer focus on major programs and allow center directors to have a louder voice in policy making. The new appointments included the following Directors of major program offices: Ira H. Abbott, Office of Advanced Research and Technology; Homer E. Newell, Office of Space Sciences; D. Brainerd Holmes, Office of Manned Space Flight; and an as yet unnamed Director of Office of Applications Programs. Also, Thomas F. Dixon was appointed Deputy Associate Administrator; Abe Silverstein was named Director of the Lewis Research Center, and Robert R. Gilruth was chosen Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center.

1961 September 24 - .
  • Major reorganization of NASA Headquarters was announced - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Program: Apollo. A major reorganization of NASA Headquarters was announced by Administrator James E. Webb. Four new program offices were to be formed, effective November 1: the Office of Advanced Research and Technology, Ira H. Abbott, Director; the Office of Space Sciences, Homer E. Newell, Director; the Office of Manned Space Flight, D. Brainerd Holmes, Director; and the Office of Applications, directorship vacant. Holmes' appointment had been announced on September 20. He had been General Manager of the Major Defense Systems Division of the Radio Corporation of America. The new Directors would report to Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA's Associate Administrator.

    At the same time, Robert R. Gilruth was named Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center to be located in Houston, Tex. The Directors of NASA's nine field centers would, like the newly appointed program Directors, report to Seamans.


1961 November 6 - . LV Family: Nova; Saturn C-3; Saturn V; Titan.
  • Working group on large launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Debus; Holmes, Brainard; Rosen, Milton; Maus; Mrazek. 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. Summary: 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 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 6 - .
  • Preliminary project plan for the Mercury Mark II program - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard; Seamans. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini LOR. D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA Director of Manned Space Flight, outlined the preliminary project development plan for the Mercury Mark II program in a memorandum to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The primary objective of the program was to develop rendezvous techniques; important secondary objectives were long-duration flights, controlled land recovery, and astronaut training. The development of rendezvous capability, Holmes stated, was essential:

    • It offered the possibility of accomplishing a manned lunar landing earlier than by direct ascent.
    • The lunar landing maneuver would require the development of rendezvous techniques regardless of the operational mode selected for the lunar mission.
    • Rendezvous and docking would be necessary to the Apollo orbiting laboratory missions planned for the 1965-1970 period.
    The plan was approved by Seamans on December 7. The Mercury Mark II program was renamed "Gemini" on January 3, 1962.

1961 December 6 - .
  • Robert R. Gilruth, Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center, transmitted the procurement plan for the Mark II spacecraft to NASA Headquarters for approval. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Spacecraft: Gemini. This included scope of work, plans, type of contract administration, contract negotiation and award plan, and schedule of procurement actions. At Headquarters, D. Brainerd Holmes, Director of Manned Space Flight, advised Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., that the extended flight would be conducted in the last half of calender year 1963 and that the rendezvous flight tests would begin in early 1964. Because of short lead time available to meet the Mark II delivery and launch schedules, it was requested that fiscal year 1962 funds totaling $75.8 million be immediately released to Manned Spacecraft Center in preparation for the negotiation of contracts for the spacecraft and for the launch vehicle modifications and procurements.

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

1961 December 29 - . LV Family: Atlas; Titan.
  • NASA issued the Gemini Operational and Management Plan, which outlined the roles and responsibilities of NASA and Department of Defense in the Gemini (Mercury Mark II) program. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard; Schriever. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA would be responsible for overall program planning, direction, systems engineering, and operation-including Gemini spacecraft development; Gemini/Agena rendezvous and docking equipment development; Titan II/Gemini spacecraft systems integration; launch, flight, and recovery operations; command, tracking, and telemetry during orbital operations; and reciprocal support of Department of Defense space projects and programs within the scope of the Gemini program. Department of Defense would be responsible for: Titan II development and procurement, Atlas procurement, Agena procurement, Atlas-Agena systems integration, launch of Titan II and Atlas-Agena vehicles, range support, and recovery support. A slightly revised version of the plan was signed in approval on March 27 by General Bernard A. Schriever, Commander, Air Force Systems Command, for the Air Force, and D. Brainerd Holmes, Director of Manned Space Flight, for NASA.

1961 December 31 - .
  • NASA Management Council - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Senior officials from NASA Headquarters, Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Manned Spacecraft Center will sit on a Management Council to insure the orderly and timely progress in the manned space flight programs. The Council under the chairmanship of D. Brainerd Holmes will meet at least once a month to identify and resolve problems as early as possible and to coordinate interface problems between the various Offices.

1962 May 3 - .
  • Presentation on the lunar orbit rendezvous technique - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Mode Debate; LM Source Selection. A presentation on the lunar orbit rendezvous technique was made to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director, NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, by representatives of the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office. A similar presentation to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., followed on May 31.

1962 May 25 - . LV Family: Nova. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-8.
  • Apollo lunar landing mode component schedules and cost breakdowns prepared - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Landing. D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA's Director of Manned Space Flight, requested the Directors of Launch Operations Center, Manned Spacecraft Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to prepare supporting component schedules and cost breakdowns through Fiscal Year 1967 for each of the proposed lunar landing modes: earth orbit rendezvous, lunar orbit rendezvous, and direct ascent. For direct ascent, a Saturn C-8 launch vehicle was planned, using a configuration of eight F-1 engines, eight J-2 engines, and one J-2 engine. MSFC was also requested to submit a proposed schedule and summary of costs for the Nova launch vehicle, using the configuration of eight F-1 engines, two M-1 engines, and one J-2 engine. Each Center was asked to make an evaluation of the schedules as to possibilities of achievement, major problem areas, and recommendations for deviations.

1962 June 27 - .
  • Mercury MA-8 programed for as many as six orbits - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Program: Mercury. Flight: Mercury MA-8. Summary: D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA Director of Manned Space Flight, announced that the Mercury-Atlas 8 (MA-8) manned orbital mission would be programed for as many as six orbits. Walter Schirra was selected as the prime pilot with Gordon Cooper serving as backup..

1962 October 30 - .
  • NASA management changes - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard; Dixon. Program: Apollo. NASA announced the realignment of functions under Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. D. Brainerd Holmes assumed new duties as a Deputy Associate Administrator while retaining his responsibilities as Director of the Office of Manned Space Flight. NASA field installations engaged principally in manned space flight projects (Marshall Space Flight Center Manned Spacecraft Center, and Launch Operations Center) would report to Holmes; installations engaged principally in other projects (Ames, Langley, Lewis, and Flight Research Centers, Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Wallops Station) would report to Thomas F. Dixon, Deputy Associate Administrator for the past year. Previously most field center directors had reported directly to Seamans on institutional matters beyond program and contractual administration.

1963 February 20 - .
  • Realignment of the structure of the Office of Manned Space Flight - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Program: Mercury. In announcing a realignment of the structure of the Office of Manned Space Flight, Director D. Brainerd Holmes named two new deputy directors and outlined a changed reporting structure. Dr. Joseph F. Shea was appointed Deputy Director for Systems, and George M. Low assumed duties as Deputy Director for Office of Manned Space Flight Programs. Reporting to Dr. Shea would be Director of Systems Studies, Dr. William A. Lee; Director of Systems Engineering, John A. Gautrand; and Director of Integration and Checkout, James E. Sloan. Reporting to Low would be Director of Launch Vehicles, Milton Rosen; Director of Space Medicine, Dr. Charles Roadman; and Director of Spacecraft and Flight Missions, presently vacant. Director of Administration, William E. Lilly, would provide administrative support in both major areas.

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.

1963 April 2 - .
  • $42.638 million increase in Gemini's actual 1963 budget. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Testifying before the Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, D Brainerd Holmes, Director of Manned Space Flight, sought to justify a $42.638 million increase in Gemini's actual 1963 budget over that previously estimated. Holmes explained: 'This increase is identified primarily with an increase of $49.9 million in spacecraft. The fiscal 1963 congressional budget request was made at the suggestion of the contractor. The increase reflects McDonnell's six months of actual experience in 1963.' The subcommittee was perturbed that the contractor could so drastically underestimate Gemini costs, especially since it was chosen without competition because of supposed competence derived from Mercury experience. Holmes attributed McDonnell's underestimate to unexpectedly high bids from subcontractors and provided for the record a statement of some of the reasons for the change: 'These original estimates made in December 1961 by NASA and McDonnell were based on minimum changes from Mercury technology ..... As detailed specifications for subsystems performance were developed ....... realistic cost estimates, not previously available, were obtained from subcontractors. The first of these ....... were obtained by McDonnell in April 1962 and revealed significantly higher estimates than were originally used. For example: (a) In data transmission, it became necessary to change from a Mercury-type system to a pulse code modulation (PCM) system because of increased data transmission requirements, and the need to reduce weight and electrical power. The Gemini data transmission system will be directly applicable to Apollo. (b) Other subsystems have a similar history. The rendezvous radar was originally planned to be similar to ones used by the Bomarc Missile, but it was found necessary to design an interferometer type radar for low weight, small volume, and to provide the highest reliability possible. (c) The environmental control system was originally planned as two Mercury-type systems, but as the detail specifications became definitive it was apparent that the Mercury ECS was inadequate and, although extensive use of Mercury design techniques were utilized, major modifications were required.'

1963 June 12 - .
  • Brainerd-Holmes resignation as NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Program: Apollo. Summary: D. Brainerd-Holmes announced his resignation as NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator and Director of Manned Space Flight, effective sometime in the fall. He had joined NASA in 1961 and was returning to industry..

1963 July 23 - .
  • George E Mueller named NASA Deputy Associate Administrator - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard; Mueller. Program: Apollo. Summary: George E. Mueller, Vice President for Research and Development of Space Technology Laboratories, was named NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight to succeed D. Brainerd Holmes, effective September 1..

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