Apollo Guidance Computer Activities

AGC biography - Bob Gilruth

Robert Rowe (Bob) Gilruth

gilruth.jpg (5585 bytes)"There were many heroes during the early days of the space program but Bob Gilruth was the most respected of them all and, particularly, by those who knew what it took to reach the goals that were established. Personally, I had a higher regard for Gilruth than any other person in my lifetime."  -- Christopher Kraft, Jr.

Bob Gilruth received his SB and SM in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota and joined NACA after graduation. A specialist in flight research, in 1952 Gilruth was appointed assistant director of the Langley Laboratory responsible for investigations in high-temperature structures and dynamics loads and for hypersonic aerodynamics research at Wallops Island. 

When NASA was established  in 1958, Gilruth became director of the Space Task Group at Langley that would evolve into the nucleus of the man-in-space program. Gilruth was appointed the first director of the new Manned Spacecraft Center, later the Johnson Spaceflight Center, in Houston, Texas, when the Space Task Group relocated there in 1961.   During his term as MSC director, Gilruth directed 25  flights from the first Mercury flight in May 1961 through Apollo 15 in July 1971.

Read Gilruth's account of his experiences on the Apollo program


  • NASA's biography of Gilruth

-- A.B., Jan 2002.