Schriever, Bernard A
(1910-2005) Key German-American military manager of development of the Thor, Atlas, Titan, and Minuteman ballistic missiles.
Bernard A. Schriever earned a B.S. in architectural engineering from Texas A&M in 1931 and was commissioned in the Army Air Corps Reserve in 1933 after completing pilot training. Following broken service, he received a regular commission in 1938. He earned an M.A. in aeronautical engineering from Stanford in 1942 and then flew 63 combat missions in B-17s with the 19th Bombardment Group in the Pacific Theater during World War II. In 1954, he became commander of the Western Development Division (soon renamed the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division), and from 1959-1966 he was commander of its parent organization, the Air Research and Development Command, renamed Air Force Systems Command in 1961. As such, he presided over the development of the Atlas, Thor, and Titan missiles, which served not only as military weapon systems but also as boosters for NASA's space missions. In developing these missiles, Schriever instituted a systems approach, whereby the various components of the Atlas and succeeding missiles underwent simultaneous design and test as part of an overall "weapons system." Schriever also introduced the notion of concurrency, which has been given various interpretations but essentially allowed the components of the missiles to enter production while still in the test phase, thereby speeding up development. He retired as a general in 1966.
Birth Place: German.
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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
Launius, Roger D, NASA Chief Historian, NASA History Office Home Page, Web Address when accessed: here.
1958 March 10 -
- MISS Working Conference - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Johnson, Caldwell; Schriever. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury; Project 7969. A working conference in support of the Air Force 'Man-in-Space Soonest' (MISS) was held at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division in Los Angeles, California. General Bernard Schriever, opening the conference, stated that events were moving faster than expected. By this statement he meant that Roy Johnson, the new head of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, had asked the Air Force to report to him on its approach to putting a man in space soonest. Johnson indicated that the Air Force would be assigned the task, and the purpose of the conference was to produce a rough-draft proposal. At that time the Air Force concept consisted of three stages: a high-drag, no-lift, blunt-shaped spacecraft to get man in space soonest, with landing to be accomplished by a parachute; a more sophisticated approach by possibly employing a lifting vehicle or one with a modified drag; and a long-range program that might end in a space station or a trip to the moon.
1959 April 24 -
- All three military services studying a base on the moon - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Lunex; Horizon Lunar Outpost; Navy SLV. Testifying before the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Maj. Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, Commander of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, stated that all three military services should be studying the possibility of a base on the moon. Up to that point, he felt, all such studies had been "in the blue thinking."
1961 December 29 -
- 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.
1963 October 15 -
. Launch Vehicle
: Titan 2
- Reconsideration of flying Gemini fixes on Titan II development flights. - .
Nation: USA. Related Persons: Schriever. Personnel from Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD), Air Force Ballistic Systems Division (BSD), and Titan II contractors met in Los Angeles to reconsider flying Gemini launch vehicle (GLV) fixes on Titan II development flights. BSD, which was responsible for the weapon system development program, had halted the installation of GLV fixes on the Titan II flights because of the limited number of flights remaining to qualify the missile. General Bernard A Schriever, Commander of Air Force Systems Command (of which BSD and SSD were subordinate division), intervened in support of an active program to clean up launch vehicle problem areas. The incorporation of GLV fixes on Titan II flights resumed on November 1 with the flight of Titan II N-25.
2005 June 20 -
- Death of Bernard A Schriever - .
Nation: Germany; USA. Related Persons: Schriever. Summary: Key German-American military manager of development of the Thor, Atlas, Titan, and Minuteman ballistic missiles..
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