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Air Force Space Command news service (Sept. 1, 2004): annual program honors pioneers.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFPN) -- Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) officials here welcomed six more pioneers into the Air Force Space and Missile Program Hall of Fame on Sept. 1.

The program recognizes individuals who played a significant role in the early history of Air Force space and missile programs.

"In keeping with our celebration of the 50 years of Air Force space and missiles, we've expanded our activities for the space and missile program," said Skip Bradley, AFSPC historian.

Specifically, this year's program included two additional events: a panel of retired senior AFSPC officers speaking on "operationalizing space," and a tribute to a retired enlisted airman for his contributions to developing the Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile program.

The induction ceremony paid tribute to the largest number of new pioneers since the program began in 1997. The new pioneers are retired Lt. Gen. Kenneth W. Schultz, retired Col. Edward Blum, Rita Sagalyn, Wen Tsing Chow, William Troetschel, and Rodney Pratt.

Other milestones for this year's program are the inductions of the first female pioneer--Sagalyn--and the first Asian-born pioneer--Chow.

The honorees' contributions span a variety of fields, but all were instrumental in paving the way for current and future endeavors in the space and missile arena, officials said.

"We're recognizing the depth and breadth of these pioneers' contributions to the Air Force's space and missile programs," said Dr. Rick Sturdevant, AFSPC deputy command historian.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Kenneth W. Schultz

Schultz managed the contract to develop the initial Air Force Space Plan. he initiated acquisition of significantly improved re-entry systems for the Minuteman, Polaris, and Poseidon weapon systems; and he revitalized important measurement programs supporting ballistic missile programs. He also led design and development of the Minuteman III ICBM, the nation's first missile capable of carrying multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles.

Retired Air Force Col. Edward Blum

Blum is responsible for the engineering and development of the Agena upper stage, the first successful spacecraft designed to serve a wide variety of on-orbit programs, beginning with the world's first reconnaissance satellite. He established the production line that turned out more than 260 Agenas used by Discoverer/Corona and other National Reconnaissance Office programs, NASA's Lunar Orbiter and Mariner interplanetary probes, and other space projects.

Rita Sagalyn

Sagalyn played a key role in establishing and executing a space science and technology program at the Air Force Research Laboratory. She designed an ion-attitude sensor for measuring spacecraft pitch and yaw that was tested successfully aboard several Gemini missions in the mid-1960s. She initiated and led many programs, including the chemical release, radiation effects satellite launched in 1990, spacecraft charging at high altitude, space-weather prediction, plasma and particle instruments on satellites, a compact environmental anomaly sensor for operational satellites, and an active charge control satellite-mounted system.

Wen Tsing Chow

During the 1950s, Chow managed the design, development, and production in quantity of the digital computer and all-inertial guidance system for the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile. He formulated the design of the first all-solid-state, high-reliability, space-borne digital computer and established the basic systems approach to development and mechanization of guidance systems for ICBMs, space boosters, and manned spacecraft from Atlas, Titan, Saturn, and Skylab, through Minuteman and the space shuttle.

William Troetschel

Troetschel, a member of the Air Force's earliest satellite team, contributed to the establishment of an on-orbit operational control node at Sunnyvale for the relevant program offices in Los Angeles. The field office soon grew to become the Air Force Satellite Control Facility with operational responsibility for all Air Force space missions.

Rodney Pratt

Pratt was involved with design and development of the first satellite communication ground terminals for experimentation with the Echo 1 passive satellite. He conducted on-the-air, scientific experiments using the Initial Defense Satellite Communications Program series, Lincoln Experimental Satellites 5 and 6, the Tactical Communications Satellites, the Defense Satellite Communications System II series and the Air Force Satellite Communications system. he also accepted responsibility for the development of airborne terminal technology for future military SATCOM systems.

Before these six pioneers, 30 people have been inducted.

by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Thibault, USAF
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Title Annotation:Acquisition & Logistics Excellence
Author:Thibault, Jennifer
Publication:Defense AT & L
Geographic Code:1U8CO
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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