Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NASA Pioneer W3PRB Silent Key

Installation of original sign at the then-new
Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
Maryland. (Photo from June 2008 CQ)
CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame member John Townsend, W3PRB, became a Silent Key in November. Townsend was one of NASA's early administrators, responsible for the acquisition and construction of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He was also a key negotiator of the first US-Soviet space treaty. Townsend left NASA for several years to help establish the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and to work in private industry. After the explosion of the shuttle Challenger in 1986, he returned to NASA as Deputy Associate Administrator and led America's return to space. He also served as Goddard's Director from 1987 until his retirement in 1990. Townsend was profiled in an interview in the June, 2008, issue of CQ.