Norman Sears Employee Card

Norman E. Sears

Guidance, Navigation and Control Guru

Norman E. Sears began working at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory in 1952 after receiving his Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from MIT. He worked initially on the design and testing of the fire-control system for the Instrumentation Laboratory’s Air Force projects. Sears began his work on the Apollo Project as the head of the Apollo Space Guidance Analysis Division. He was eventually promoted to Technical Director for the development of the Primary Guidance, Navigation, and Control System (PGNCS), flight computer software specification, programming, and verification for both the Command and Lunar Modules. Sears served in this position until 1975.

After the Apollo missions, Sears became Head of the NASA Programs Department at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. He oversaw many projects including design of the Space Shuttle Guidance, Navigation, and Control System; Space Shuttle Backup Flight Control System, the NASA F-8 Digital Flight Control System, and inertial systems for the Department of Defense’s spacecraft and missiles. Norman Sears worked at the Instrumentation Lab / Draper Laboratory for 41 years, retiring in 1992.