Ron Creel is a space thermal and systems engineer who began his NASA career in 1965 as a co-op student at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), joining full time in 1969, after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Engineering Mechanics. Creel has more than 36 years of extensive experience on space engineering projects, both for the Government and industry.
As thermal control engineer on the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) Team, his responsibilities included design, test verification, andmission support engineering for the vehicle's thermal control system - in his words, "a high-speed and challenging task on America's spacecraft with wheels." For his contributions, he was awarded the "Silver Snoopy," the NASA Astronaut Corps' own special award for outstanding performance.
Following his Apollo experiences, Creel worked on other thermal engineering projects at NASA, including the Laser Geodynamic Satellite (LAGEOS), the High Energy Astronomical Observatory (HEAO) and the X-Ray Calibration Test Facility, and performed extensive thermal/stress analytical work on Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) internal flow components.
After his NASA career, Creel performed systems engineering on Strategic Defense Initiative Organization "Star Wars" space-based defense projects including extensive field testing in the Pacific. He continued thermal engineering on several satellite programs, including the International Space Station launch-to-activation program at The Boeing Company. Ron is presently serving as Thermal Subject Matter Expert on the Independent Readiness Review Team for U.S. Air Force satellites. He works for Science Applications International Corporation.
During the Apollo Moon missions using the LRV, Creel experienced the frustration of trying to cope with the adverse effects of lunar dust and is an active and enthusiastic resource for technology development efforts to develop dust mitigation technology for NASA.
He is also interested in contributing to development of nuclear systems for survival and robotic and manned exploration of the moon. He is a much-sought-after expert and speaker who willingly describes the Apollo LRV thermal design, test verification, and mission support systems and shares experiences gained in coping with theharsh lunar environment.
He supports several educational projects, such as lectures and the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race held at MSFC, and enjoys sharing his experience with students and young and old aerospace professionals. He has also formed a team which is developing LUROVA - the LUnar ROVing Adventures 3D "Edutainment" simulation for student involvement and challenge.