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John Naugle, former NASA Space Science Chief, Passes Away

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 05-Feb-2013
Updated: 06-Feb-2013 12:59 PM

John Naugle, one of the icons of NASA's space science program, died of colon cancer on January 23 at his home in North Falmouth, MA.  He was 89.

Naugle was one of NASA's first employees, joining the agency in 1958, the same year it opened its doors.  He rose to become Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Science, heading the agency's space science program and NASA Chief Scientist.  After retiring from NASA, he was chairman of Fairchild Industries' Fairchild Space Co. and later returned to NASA as a consultant to the NASA Administrator.

Naugle was renowned in space science circles.  Among his many accomplishments was writing First Among Equals: The Selection of NASA Space Science Experiments, published in 1991.  An obituary in the Washington Post details his personal life, including imprisonment as a prisoner of war in World War II after being captured in the Battle of the Bulge.


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