R.I.P. George Mueller

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One of the most important managers during the 1960s and 1970s at NASA, George Mueller (pronounced “Miller”) has passed away at 97 after a short illness.

NASA and sources close to Mueller’s family confirmed his passing on Thursday (Oct. 15).

Mueller, as associate administrator, headed the Office of Manned Space Flight at NASA’s Washington headquarters from 1963 through 1969. During that time, Mueller brought together NASA’s three human spaceflight centers under a common management system, introduced an approach to testing that made landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade possible, played a key part in the design of the United States’ first space station and advocated for a reusable space transportation system that became known as the space shuttle.

Unlike the many government managers that followed him, Mueller’s goal was never to build an empire, but to get humans into space as quickly and as efficiently as possible. If only we had more people like him.

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