Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA
Stuhlinger, Ernst (1913-2008) German-American engineer. Member of the German Rocket Team in the United States after WW2.

Ernst Stuhlinger was a physicist who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Tuebingen in 1936 and continued research into cosmic rays and nuclear physics until 1941 while serving as an assistant professor at the Berlin Institute of Technology. He then spent two years as an enlisted man in the German army on the Russian front before being assigned to the rocket development center at Peenemuende, Germany. There he worked principally on guidance and control of rockets. After World War II, he came to the United States as part of Project Paperclip and worked with Wernher von Braun at Fort Bliss, Texas, and then at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. As of 1959, Director, Research Projects Division. Transferred to the Marshall Space Flight Center in 1960, he was director of its space science lab from 1960 to 1968 and then its associate director for science from 1968 to 1975, when he retired and became an adjunct professor and senior research scientist with the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He directed early planning for lunar exploration and the Apollo telescope mount, which flew on Skylab and produced a wealth of scientific information about the sun. He was also responsible for the early planning on the high energy astronomy observatory and contributed to the initial phases of the space telescope project. His work included studies of electric propulsion and of scientific payloads for the Space Shuttle. Passed away in Huntsville, Alabama in 2008.

Birth Place: German.
Born: 1913.12.19.
Died: 2008.05.25.

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

Stuhlinger Chronology

1966 February 11 - .
  • MSFC submitted its response to the call from Headquarters for project management proposals for the Apollo telescope mount (ATM). - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Stuhlinger. Spacecraft: Apollo ATM. The plan summarized Marshall's developmental work on ATM-type systems so far and contained specific technical and managerial concepts for implementing the ATM project. Of all its inherent strengths and capabilities, the Center emphasized the talents concentrated in the Research Projects Laboratory under Ernst Stuhlinger, the scientific arm of the Center.

1966 October 19 - .
  • Von Braun complains of transfer of Apollo lunar work - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun; Mueller; Stuhlinger. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Marshall Space Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun wrote MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth that MSFC had spent a considerable effort in planning the transfer of study and development tasks in the lunar exploration program to MSC. Von Braun said, "We feel it is in the spirit of the MSF Hideaway Management Council Meeting held on August 13-15, 1966, to consider the majority of our Lunar Exploration Work Program for transfer to MSC in consonance with Bob Seamans' directive which designates MSC as the Lead Center for lunar science." He added that MSFC had formulated a proposal which it felt was in agreement with the directives and at the same time provided for management interfaces between the two Centers without difficulty.

    Briefly MSFC proposed to transfer to MSC:

    1. planning for Apollo Applications lunar traverses;
    2. lunar surface geological, geophysical, geochemical, biological, and biomedical experiments; and
    3. emplaced scientific station experiments.
    MSFC proposed to retain

    1. the local scientific survey module and related mobility efforts,
    2. Apollo Applications program lunar drill,
    3. lunar surveying system, and
    4. lunar flying device (one man flying machine).
    He added that MSFC had been working in specific areas of scientific technology that promised to furnish experiments that could be used on the lunar surface or from lunar orbit as well as from a planetary vehicle for planetary observations. Among these were radar and laser altimetry and infrared spectroscopy.

    Von Braun said that Ernst Stuhlinger of the Research Projects Laboratory had discussed the proposed actions for transfer of functions to MSC, and MSC Experiments Program Manager Robert O. Piland had indicated his general agreement, pending further consideration. He asked that Gilruth give his reaction to the proposal and said, "It would be very helpful if our two Centers could present a proposal to George Mueller (OMSF) on which we both agree."

1967 December 15 - .
  • Apollo Site Selection Board - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Maynard; Stuhlinger. Program: Apollo. The Apollo Site Selection Board met at MSC and discussed landing ellipse topography, landing approach path topography, and operational considerations, among other topics. The board heard recommendations on landing sites for the first and second missions, and approved them subsequent to the meeting, and Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips emphasized that three launch opportunities should be provided for all months of the yew. Board members, in addition to Phillips, were James H. Turnock, John D. Stevenson, Charles W. Mathews, and Oran W. Nicks, all of NASA Hq.; Owen E. Maynard and Wilmot N. Hess of MSC; Ernst Stuhlinger, MSFC; and R. O. Middleton, KSC.

1968 September 24 - .
  • Apollo Site Selection Board - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Stuhlinger. Program: Apollo. Samuel C. Phillips announced membership of the OMSF Apollo Site Selection Board, which was to meet September 26: Phillips, chairman; Lee R. Scherer, OMSF, secretary; John D. Stevenson and Harold D. Luskin, both of OMSF; Oran W. Nicks, NASA Hq., John D. Hodge, Owen E. Maynard, and Wilmot N. Hess, all of MSC; Ernst Stuhlinger, MSFC: and Roderick O. Middleton, KSC. J. H. Turnock and Charles W. Mathews had been deleted from the previous membership list and Hodge, Luskin, and Scherer added.

2008 May 25 - .
  • Death of Ernst Stuhlinger - . Nation: Germany; USA. Related Persons: Stuhlinger. Summary: German-American engineer. Member of the German Rocket Team in the United States after WW2..

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