Apollo Lunar Surface Journal Banner

Ken Thomas

I grew up with the space exploration in the background as my father was an engineer who worked for contractors on the Gemini and Apollo programs. Before he retired for the last time, he also worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. In 1989, I made a career change from commercial and defense engineering to being an Extra-vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU or space suit) Project Engineer (Team Leader) at Hamilton Sundstrand (HS) Space Systems International (SSI) (formerly Hamilton Standard Space & Life Systems).

Ken Thomas I am also a member of HS's Space Hardware Heritage Team. The team is a volunteer organization founded in 1992 that locates and restores (mostly historical) space hardware and does research to document space technology development. The hardware and information is used to support the promotion and appreciation of space exploration. The public domain portion of the team's documentation has produced four "living" reports that are updated as more information is gained or as the passing of time produces more history to be documented. I have served the team as team leader (twice) and currently provide support as the team's restoration coordinator and quasi chief-historian.

Since 1994, HS-HSS has been actively working with the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Space History Division. I have been the principle liaison. In 2000, HS provided the co-funding for the 2000-2002 portion of the Saving America's Treasures program that concentrated on the preservation of Apollo era space suits. I had the privilege to support that activity, which continues as a volunteer activity on my part.