The Surveyor Proposal Team—Jack Fisher

When I wrote the post, “Surveyor: Study, Proposal, and Program Initiation,” I tried very hard to find out who was on the study and proposal team consulting a number of sources.  However, it’s been more than 50 years since Hughes captured this program and memories have faded.  I was very pleased to find this article from the Hughes News on February 3, 1961 that provided some information on the Surveyor team.

Hard Work, Long Hours Earn Pact

Outstanding individual efforts by nearly a score of Hughesites earned HAC the key role in the development of the Surveyor spacecraft, one of the nation’s “most meaningful” space programs.

The program has been termed “most meaningful” because Surveyor will answer questions about the moon that have been on men’s minds since the beginning of time.

For the first time we’ll know what the moon’s landscape really looks like. We’ll get an analysis of the soil; a determination of its “atmosphere” and its geophysical characteristics.

The Surveyor program was one of the most sought-after space programs. A total of 38 of the nation’s leading aircraft and electronic firms were in the initial competition vying for one of the four five-month contracts. Hughes was one of the four selected.

Enormous Effort

“ Each of these four companies put forth an enormous effort, not only because of the money involved, but because of the prestige factor,” said Dr. Leo Stoolman, HAC’s Surveyor project manager.

HAC’s effort was prodigious. The men assigned to the project worked 12 hours a day six days a week for seven months, and at one period worked 28 straight days.

Heading this technical team were Dr. Stoolman, R. E. Sears, assistant project manager, and R. K. Roney, technical director, R&D Laboratories, who provided technical direction for our entire Surveyor program.

Individuals Cited

Other key personnel involved were: P. G. Ackerman, scientific instruments; J. M. Bozajian, thermal control and flight mechanisms; J. D. Cloud, systems analysis; R. G. Colbert, vehicle design; T. F. Coleman, vehicle design; J. S. Green, missions operations; R. C. Hamilton, electrical power system; W. F. Hummel, guidance and control; L. G. Ludwig, missions operations; D. A. Mahaffy, propulsion; Max Mason, systems analysis; H. K. Redd, scientific instrument integration; S. C. Shallon, telecommunications; E. E. St. John, telecommunications; C. R. Telle, mechanisms; and A. T. Vall, reliability assurance and test.


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About Jack Fisher

Jack was a systems engineer at Hughes from 1961 to 1992. He contributed to various programs including Surveyor, Pioneer Venus, Galileo, Intelsat VI and innumerable proposals. He was the manager of of the Spacecraft Systems Engineering Lab until his retirement. Upon retirement Jack taught systems engineering at a number of national and international venues.

1 thought on “The Surveyor Proposal Team—Jack Fisher

  1. Thanks for the memories.
    All thermal control systems, sub-Items and materials worked too
    It Has been a long time.

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