Robert Gilruth, George Low, and Christopher Kraft

George Low

Chief of Manned Space Flight

George Low was born June 10th, 1926 in Vienna, Austria. After Germany's occupation of Austria in 1938, Low's Jewish family emigrated from Austria to the United States. After WWII erupted, Low served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946. During his military service, he became a naturalized American citizen and legally changed his name to George Michael Low. He then received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1948 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, where he worked on heat transfer and aerodynamics. He also worked on orbits, reentry, and rendezvous techniques. After joining NASA in 1958, he became the Chief of Manned Space Flight, working on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. Low was in charge of the changes made to the Apollo Spacecraft in 1967, ensuring that the spacecraft was flight worthy. Low served as NASA’s Deputy Administrator from 1969 to 1976. He retired from NASA in 1976 and became the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.