Allan Klumpp graduated from MIT in 1955 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He worked with Douglas Aircraft on control systems for Navy planes, then after receiving his masters from MIT in 1959, he moved to the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL).
By 1963, Klumpp had joined the Instrumentation Lab to work on the Apollo Program. He was the principal designer of the Lunar Module’s descent software. Named Luminary, the software program flew on Apollo 11 and every subsequent Apollo flight.
When the Apollo Program ended, he worked on designing the ascent steering for the space shuttle missions before leaving the IL/Draper in 1975 to return to Caltech’s JPL.
In 2003, Klumpp resigned from Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Lab. He wrote multiple programs for many interplanetary missions, including the simulator used to develop landing trajectories for both the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers. He now focuses on sustainability and finding longer lasting energy resources.