Jack Stempler (l920- ) was the assistant secretary of defense for
legislative affairs, 1965-1970 and 1977-1981. In between
(1970-1977), he served as the general counsel for the Air
 Curtis Tarr (1924- )
was the assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and
reserve affairs, 1969-1970. He then became the director of the
Selective Service System, 1970-1972.
Albert Thomas (1898-1966) (D-TX) chaired the House Independent
Offices Appropriations subcommittee that had jurisdiction over
NASA. First elected to Congress in 1936, he ran this powerful
subcommittee for almost 15 years. He used his political influence
to have the $250 million Manned Spacecraft Center located in
Houston, near his congressional district.
Floyd Thompson (1898-1976) joined the Langley Aeronautical
Laboratory in 1926 as part of a staff of only about 150. He became
chief of the Flight Research Division in 1940 and assistant chief
of research for Langley in 1943. In 1960 Thompson became director
of Langley. He also served briefly as a special assistant to the
NASA administrator in 1968 before retiring later that year.
Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) was the leader of the "rocket team"
that had developed the German V-2 ballistic missile in World War
II. At the conclusion of the war, von Braun and some of his chief
assistants came to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, to work on rocket
development and use the V-2 for high-altitude research. In 1950
von Braun's team moved to the Army's Redstone Arsenal near
Huntsville, Alabama. From 1960 to 1970, he was the director of
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, where he was instrumental in
supervising the Saturn rocket program for the Apollo lunar
James Webb (1906-1992) was NASA administrator between 1961 and
1968. Previously, he had been an aide to a congressman and a
business executive with the Sperry Corporation and the Kerr-McGee
Oil Company. He also had been director of the Bureau of the
Budget, 1946-1950, and undersecretary of state,
Edward Welsh (1909- ) had a long career in various private and
public enterprises. He served as legislative assistant to Senator
Stuart Symington (D-MO), 1953-1961, and was the executive
secretary of the National Aeronautics and Space Council through
Edward White (1930-1967) was the first astronaut to "walk" in
space, which he did in 1965 as part of the Gemini IV mission. A
lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and son of an Air Force
general, White joined NASA in 1962 as a member of its second class
of astronauts. White was killed, along with crewmates Roger
Chaffee and Gus Grissom, when their Apollo 204 capsule was
engulfed in flames on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space
Philip Whittaker was NASA's assistant administrator for industry
affairs in the 1960s. President Nixon later appointed him
assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations and
Jerome Wiesner (1915-1994) was science advisor to President John F.
Kennedy. He had been a faculty member of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and had served on President Eisenhower's
Science Advisory Committee. During the presidential campaign of
1960, Wiesner had advised Kennedy on science and technology issues
and prepared a transition team report on the subject that
questioned the value of human spaceflight. As Kennedy's science
advisor, he tussled with NASA over the lunar landing commitment
and the method of conducting it.
Source: Biographical reference files,
NASA Headquarters History Office, Washington, D.C.