NASA's Jesco von Puttkamer Dies

NASA's Jesco von Puttkamer Dies

Jesco von Puttkamer, whose 50-year career at NASA began with building rockets with Wernher von Braun at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), has died following a brief illness.  He was 79.

As Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, said, von Puttkamer was an “institution” at NASA and an “outspoken advocate” for a bold human spaceflight program beyond low Earth orbit.  

Image credit:  NASA

Von Braun recruited von Puttkamer to come to work at MSFC in 1962.  In 1974, von Puttkamer moved to NASA Headquarters where he filled a variety of positions over the ensuing decades.  Most recently, he was best known as author of the daily reports on the activities aboard the International Space Station.  In a March 23, 2012 interview for NASA TV, von Puttkamer spoke glowingly about the importance of von Braun’s leadership in convincing the nation that sending people to the Moon and back in the 1960s was possible and led to U.S. preeminence in space.

Von Puttkamer’s distinguished career at NASA was recognized by many awards, including an Exceptional Service Medal in 2004 and a 2007 NASA Honor Award for advancing U.S.-Russian space cooperation.

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