Say Its Not So: Jack Boyd Is "Retiring" From NASA

NASA Weekly Update from the Administrator - Aug. 17, 2020

"Shout Out: Tomorrow, Aug. 18, John W. "Jack" Boyd will retire, after joining NASA's predecessor, NACA, 73 years ago. Once serving as the associate center director for Ames and currently as senior advisor to the center director, Jack's early research in aerodynamics contributed to more efficient supersonic flight, such as the development of conical camber and canard configurations. As associate administrator for management, he helped realign headquarters to meet the challenges and the development of the Space Shuttle Program and what would eventually become the International Space Station. I am grateful for all of Jack's contributions from NACA to NASA and wish him the best! Thank you, Jack, and happy 95th birthday!"

Image: Me, Jack Boyd, and his wife at Cooper Garrod Vineyard in 2009. Larger image

Keith's note: When I read this today I had to re-read it since it contained words I never expected to see "Jack Boyd" and "retire". I sent Jack and Eugene Tu an email asking if there had been a clerical mistake. I first met Jack in the 1980s in my 30s and he was in his 60s when I visited Ames while working at NASA HQ Life Science Division. Flash forward: I'm filling out Medicare enrollment forms now. And Jack is still punching his timecard at NASA. In the ensuing 35 years I saw Jack regularly - especially when I was working on crazy projects at Ames. Jack's sharpness has been consistent - and he always seemed to find something funny in everything NASA did while being one of its most steadfast proponents. His advice to Ames - and NASA - has been cogent and reaches back to a time when slide rules and good engineering were important. Today software fixes everything. I am certain "retirement" is just something he's doing because he's 30 years overdue. Yet he'll probably just show up at Ames as a docent at the center's museum.

If you want to meet someone who lived through America's space program it is Jack Boyd. Jack knew NASA before there was a NASA.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 17, 2020 11:52 PM.

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