Fred Martin at Apollo Chalkboard

Fred Martin

Command Service Module Software Program Manager

Fred Martin joined the Instrumentation Lab in 1956 to work on analog autopilot and fire control systems. He received his masters and doctorate degrees at MIT in 1959 and 1965, respectively. Martin then worked on control systems for the Polaris Missile project before moving to the Apollo Project.

While an ScD student and a Research Assistant at the Instrumentation Lab, he worked on powered flight and attitude control systems for the Apollo missions. Upon completing his degree, he joined the Lab’s Guidance and Navigation Group led by Dick Battin. This group was responsible for programming the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) and their work included the algorithms, design, programming, simulation, and testing for the AGC. Later he became the Software Project Manager for the Command and Service Module software for Apollo 8. His new position had him responsible for structuring the programming schedule, monitoring its progess and serving as the principal interface to NASA for CSM software.

In 1969, Martin left the Lab to join Intermetrics, Inc. While at Intermetrics he led the team that created the real-time programming language, HAL/S, which was was used for programming the onboard software for the Space Shuttle. In retirement Dr. Martin has taught courses at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement (HILR), Brandeis’s BOLLI program, and Middlesex College’s MILES program.