Franklyn Woods Phillips

Frank W. Phillips, Asst. Dir. NASA ERCFranklyn W. Phillips graduated from GMI1 in 1939. He then attended MIT,2 graduating in 1941 with a Science Baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering. He then went to work at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory,3,4 later moving to Lewis5,6,7 where he did research on aircraft engine materials and stresses.8,9 In 1945 he became a member of the NACA10 director's staff and served as administrator for a variety of NACA research programs in aircraft engines and aircraft and missile structures and loads. In October 1958 he became special assistant to Glennan.11–14 He relinquished that position in January 1959 to become acting secretary of the National Aeronautics and Space Council.15,16 During this period he was involved with the development of outer space law.17  In February 1960 he returned to his position as Glennan's assistant. He continued in that job under James E. Webb18–23 until 1962, when he became director of NASA's new North-Eastern Office.24 In 1964 he became Assistant Director for Administration at the new NASA Electronics Research Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.24–28

The historical document, Pressures by President's Science Advisory Committee,29 indicates he was involved in supporting the space agency's choice for the mode for the lunar mission. This decision resulted in a lunar landing by means of a lightweight module that rendezvoused with the Command Module in lunar orbit. This ran counter to the arguments of the North American Aviation engineers who wanted to see their Command Module be the one that brought the first human into contact with the lunar surface. Instead, the Lunar Excursion Module was designed by Grumman.

In 1970, the year of his retirement from NASA, he was presented with the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the second highest award in the NASA Incentive Awards Program, granted for significant achievement or service characterized by unusual initiative or creative ability that clearly demonstrates substantial improvement in engineering, administrative, space flight, or space-related endeavors which contribute to NASA programs.30

Sources and References (NASA icon=NASA, Wikipedia icon=Wikipedia, etc.)

  1. Kettering University Wikipedia icon Flint, Michigan; formerly GMI, or General Motors Institute; see key dates
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT icon MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  3. Langley Aeronautical Laboratory Wikipedia icon NASA's oldest field center at Hampton, Virginia
  4. NASA Langley NASA icon National Aeronautics & Space Administration, Langley Research Center
  5. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field Wikipedia icon Formerly the Lewis Research Center
  6. Glenn Research Center NASA icon NASA Glenn is located in Cleveland, Ohio
  7. NASA Glenn History NASA icon Originally: NACA Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory, 1941
  8. Operating Stresses in Aircraft-Engine ... NASA icon NACA Memorandum Report E5C30
  9. Operating Stresses in Aircraft-Engine ... NASA icon NACA Memorandum Report E5H18
  10. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Wikipedia icon NACA logo
  11. T. Keith Glennan Wikipedia icon First administrator of NASA
  12. T. Keith Glennan NASA icon NASA Administrator, August 19, 1958–January 20, 1961
  13. Diary of T. Keith Glennan NASA icon SP-4105. Also see book review
  14. Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Smithsonian icon The Glennan Years
  15. National Aeronautics and Space Council US Department of State icon US State Dept. memo re: Frank as Acting Secretary
  16. National Aeronautics & Space Act of 1958 (Unamended)NASA icon
  17. Excerpts from Space Law Report logo Air Force's Role in Developing International Outer Space Law
  18. James E. Webb NASA icon NASA Administrator, February 14, 1961–October 7, 1968 GRIN images
  19. James E. Webb Wikipedia icon Biographical sketch
  20. The Man Who Ran the Moon: James E. Webb,... logo book by Piers Bizony
  21. James E. Webb—Oral History logo Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
  22. James Webb Space Telescope logo Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
  23. Biographies of Aerospace Officials and PolicymakersNASA icon Frank's appears here
  24. NASA North Eastern Operations OfficeNASA icon July 1962–September 1964
  25. NASA Center Operations Begin The TECH icon Article in MIT newspaper "The Tech" March 18, 1964
  26. NASA's Electronics Research CenterNASA iconNASA History Division
  27. NASA Historic Data Book, NASA FacilitiesNASA icon Electronics Reseaarch Center
  28. NASA Electronics Research Centerlogo NASA Office of Logic Design
  29. Pressures by President's Science Advisory CommitteeNASA icon
  30. Honor AwardsNASA icon National Exceptional Service Medal awarded to Franklyn W. Phillips
  31. Chariots for ApolloNASA icon Seminal history of NASA and the Apollo mission
  32. Celebrating NASA's 40thNASA icon Honoring Glennan & Webb
  33. John F Kennedy Presidential Library logo Most of Frank's papers are here
  34. Political Friendster logo Someone posted Franklyn W. Phillips here
  35. Concord Monitor Obituary for Franklyn W. Phillips