Pickering, William Hayward
PICKERING, WILLIAM HAYWARD
(b. Wellington, New Zealand, 24 December 1910; d. La Canada, California, 15 March 2004),
A seminal figure of the age of space, New Zealand–born Pickering was recognized internationally for his significant contributions to the founding of the space age, and for the first robotic explorations of the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Lauding him at an award ceremony in 1993, a former president of the California Institute of Technology observed, “More than any other individual, Bill Pickering was responsible for America’s success in exploring the planets—an endeavor that demanded vision, courage dedication, expertise and the ability to inspire two generations of scientists and engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.” William Pickering was director of the world-famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, from 1954 until he retired in 1976.
Origin and Education Born in the city of Wellington, New Zealand, in 1910, William Pickering spent his early childhood and primary school days in Havelock, a small country town in the South Island of that country. Returning to Wellington for his secondary education at Wellington College, he excelled in mathematics and science and discovered an intense interest in the (then new) techniques of amateur radio communication. In later years, he often recalled that it was his experience at Wellington College that sparked his abiding interest in science and technology, an interest that would ultimately carry him to a career beyond his wildest dreams.
After spending one year studying electrical engineering at Canterbury (University) College in Christchurch, he moved to Pasadena, California, to complete his education at the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He earned a BS (1932), MS (1933), and in 1936 a PhD (physics) cum laude. He became a member of the Caltech faculty in 1936, and professor of electrical engineering in 1944.
In 1932, William Pickering married the former Muriel Bowler of Texas, and eventually made his home near the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Pasadena area of Southern California. A son and daughter were added to the family in 1939 and 1943 respectively. William Pickering became a naturalized American citizen in February 1941. Following the death from natural causes of his first wife in 1992, Pickering married the former Inez Chapman, a longtime family friend with origins in North Carolina, in 1994.
Cosmic-Ray Research At Caltech he worked as a researcher under the famous physicist Robert Millikan on cosmic-ray experiments, a relatively new field of physics at the time. In the course of this work he refined existing techniques for producing rugged Geiger-Müller tubes for cosmic-ray detection, and developed electronic counters for detecting the simultaneous incidence of cosmic ray particles upon two or more Geiger tubes. The so-called coincidence counters were used, in conjunction with a suitable array of Geiger tubes, to determine the directional characteristics of cosmic radiation. With three Geiger tubes arranged in an array and a suitable arrangement of coincidence-counting apparatus and lead plates, he constructed a cosmic-ray telescope to investigate the directional and penetrating characteristics of cosmic-ray showers, and the processes involved in producing the showers. Among his key findings were:
a. Shower particles have a penetrating power that on the average is less than that required to penetrate 5 cm. of lead plate, b. Showers are caused by groups of shower-producing photons rather than single photons that give rise to a series of showers, c. Showers observed under large thicknesses of lead are caused by photons that are produced in the lead by high energy incoming radiation. (1936, p. 57)
Pickering then extended his research to investigate the effect of Earth’s magnetic field on the shower-producing radiation. At the time, the diminished intensity of cosmic radiation observed in the equatorial regions was thought to be caused by Earth’s magnetic field deflecting the incoming particles away from the equator. If this was correct, Pickering reasoned, it should be possible to observe a “latitude effect” on the number of “showers” produced by this primary radiation passing through a lead plate (1936, p. 66).
To determine this effect across a wide range of latitude, he constructed suitable detection equipment and carried out a series of observations on a sea voyage from California to New Zealand, and back. Due to numerous practical difficulties, however, the results were inconclusive. Nevertheless, as part of his thesis the work was very highly regarded, and earned him the doctor of philosophy cum laude degree at Caltech in 1936.
After graduation, Pickering continued his cosmic ray work, now as a faculty member of Robert Millikan’s cosmic-ray research team at Caltech in company with Victor Neher and Carl Anderson. Stimulated by Millikan’s interest in the use of high-altitude balloons to measure cosmic rays beyond the dense regions of the atmosphere, Pickering developed light-weight instrument packages that employed new electronic techniques for returning the cosmic-ray data to Earth. This technology came to be called “telemetry,” and eventually established him as leader in that field. Together with Millikan and Neher, another pioneer in early cosmic-ray research, he carried out extensive observations in India, Canada, and Mexico searching for the “latitude effect” in cosmic-ray intensity at high altitudes. A succession of papers published in Physical Review, Review of Scientific Instruments, and Reviews of Modern Physics are testament to his productivity at this period of his life.
Guided Missile Development During World War II Pickering served as an electrical engineering educator and advisor to the U.S. Navy at Caltech. In 1944, when Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was developing rocket propulsion systems for the U.S. Army, Pickering joined the workforce as a technical manager. At war’s end he toured Germany and Japan with Theodor von Kármán’s technical assessment team to evaluate the state of rocket technology in those countries. Ten years later, at the height of the Cold War with the U.S.S.R., Caltech named him to the position of director of JPL.
As director of JPL, Pickering oversaw the development and test of the U.S. Army’s first two Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile weapon systems, the Corporal and Sergeant. From this body of work emerged the basic technology for the precision guidance systems on which all such weapons depend for their ultimate target accuracy. During this period he met, and eventually became a close friend of, Wernher von Braun, the scientist who directed rocket research in Germany during World War II. Von Braun, along with many other German scientists, had been brought to the United States after the war to assist with the United States’s long-range rocket development program.
Following the appearance of the first Soviet Sputnik in October 1957, Pickering led the JPL effort that, together with a team led by von Braun from the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and by scientist James Van Allen of the University of Iowa, astonished the world with America’s prompt response to the Soviet challenge. The Pickering–von Braun–Van Allen teams launched Explorer 1, America’s first satellite into Earth orbit, just eighty-three days after receiving the president’s order to go ahead. It was a new era—the space age had begun.
Deep Space Exploration . Toward the end of 1958, the U.S. government established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); JPL, although it remained a part of Caltech, severed its connection with the military and became a private contractor for NASA. From a choice of three NASA space programs, human space flight, Earth satellites, and exploration of the solar system, Pickering opted for the latter. He would take JPL where none had gone before—into deep space to carry out NASA’s ambitious program for the exploration of the solar system and its planets.
Under Pickering’s inspiring, but often controversial, direction JPL went from success to success, in an amazing succession of challenging programs to explore the Moon and near planets and to beat the Russians to it. Supported by JPL’s global network of tracking stations, JPL-built spacecraft sent back the first close-up photographs of the lunar surface, others journeyed far beyond the Moon to examine Venus, and later still others returned the first close-up views of the surface of Mars. On each occasion, Venus (March 1963) and Mars (July 1965), Time magazine honored him with a cover picture. Later in his tenure at JPL, NASA’s programs called for even more complex space missions to carry out soft landings on the Moon and on Mars to gather a plethora of new science about the surface features of those bodies.
In all, during the period of Pickering’s directorship of the laboratory, NASA charged JPL with responsibility for designing and conducting nine lunar missions using Ranger spacecraft, seven lunar landing missions using Surveyor spacecraft, and ten planetary missions to Venus and Mars using Mariner spacecraft. All of these missions represented humanity’s first attempts to overcome the confines and constraints of Earth, and reach for the Moon and the planets that lay beyond, in deep space. All, particularly the early Ranger missions, were conducted in the glare of public attention and anxiety associated with the race with the Soviets for preeminence in space. As with any attempts to go where none has gone before, not all were successful. But three Ranger missions, five Surveyors, and seven of the Mariner missions succeeded in achieving their full mission objectives.
The detail in the pictures of the lunar surface sent back from the Rangers just before they impacted the Moon represented a thousandfold improvement over existing telescopic images. Viewing the granular structure of the soil and the texture of the nearby rocks from the lunar surface itself, Surveyor’s close-up television images afforded an additional improvement in detail of similar magnitude. Mariner spacecraft revealed details of the surface
features of distant Mercury and the surface and atmosphere of clouded Venus that were unobservable by other means at the time. Mariner’s television data replaced the indistinct markings on Mars, observed for centuries past by astronomers using the best telescopes, with detailed images of craters and chasms, volcanoes and sand dunes, liquid flow channels and icecaps. Remote sensing instruments operating in the infrared and ultraviolet returned data on surface temperature and atmospheric temperatures, pressure and composition. This wealth of new data, said Homer Newell, “completely revitalized the field of planetary studies, which had long been quiescent for lack of new data” (Newell, 1980, p. 343). Referring to this period of space exploration, he further observed, “the most revolutionary aspect of space science contributions to the earth and planetary sciences was probably in helping to develop an integrated picture of the moon and near planets” (p. 354).
The outcome of Pickering’s effort at JPL was regarded as a major contribution to regaining America’s technological dominance in the field of deep space exploration. His pioneering leadership in this field also laid the technological basis for even more ambitious, and more successful, missions to the Moon and the outer planets in subsequent years.
Technology Transfer The new initiatives that Pickering espoused in his public discourses in the mid-1960s began to take shape in the laboratories at JPL in the late 1960s and early 1970s driven, in part, by his need to find viable alternatives for JPL’s unique technical resources in light of the dwindling Congressional support for major unmanned space projects. His interest in the application of space-age technology to the solution of prevalent problems in the civil sector, found expression in many new, non-space-related projects at JPL, which were conducted in parallel with the ongoing NASA programs. These projects were funded, with NASA concurrence, by independent agencies in response to JPL’s unsolicited proposals for solutions to recognized problems in appropriate areas of the civil sector.
The largest of these civil sector projects, known as the “Personal Rapid Transit” project, was an experiment in urban mass transportation using small, computer-controlled vehicles to move large numbers of students around the campus of the University of West Virginia at Morgan-town. The “Four Cities” program was an experiment in which the principles of space-age management were applied to the problems of city government administration involving four major cities in California. JPL also found applications for its special expertise in the field of education (student career planning and classroom safety), and law enforcement (criminalistics and police surveillance), and in the biomedical field (hospital administration, patient record keeping and mobility, arterial blood flow, clean-room technology, heat sterilization). These were all examples of space-related technology applied to problems in fields other than space or, as Pickering called it, “technology transfer.”
Pickering’s concern with technology transfer, the encouragement and the disillusionment, was reflected in his publications and his public speeches of the time. “Technology in the Waning Century,” an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers address given in California in 1973 and a statement prepared for a Senate subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Commerce in 1973, are examples. In the latter statement Pickering described the growth of his laboratory’s interest in transferring its intrinsic skills in space technology to the civil sector and gave examples of where this approach had produced positive results, and where it had not. Based on the problems he had encountered with technology transfer to the public sector over several years, Pickering observed that it was a slow process. It took a long time to understand the social, legal, and economic aspects of a technological solution to a civil-sector problem, and existing funding was not commensurate with that fact. Diffusion of responsibility and decision making authority (for introducing new technology into the existing systems) and distrust between public officials and technologists regarding the advantages of introducing new technology into existing systems made it difficult to define objectives. Finally, there was no mechanism to make civil-sector technology that had been developed in federally funded laboratories available to industry and commerce.
These difficulties, Pickering proposed, could be overcome by setting up interconnected regional technology application centers. Although this idea flourished for a while it eventually faded as the laboratory’s interest in civil systems wound down and was eventually superseded by a growing interest in alternative energy conversion systems.
Management Approach From the beginning of its association with NASA in 1958 to the end of William Pickering’s tenure as director in 1976, JPL’s relaxed, university-like, management style came into conflict with the more rigid civil service-like mode of management demanded by the government agency that now controlled JPL. JPL’s preeminent expertise in missiles and rocketry engendered an attitude of arrogance in its director and staff that irritated the officials at NASA charged with the task of managing the new member of the NASA family. A top NASA official described JPL as “bright and undisciplined” (Koppes, 1982, p. 110).
Pickering was determined to establish JPL as a dominant force in the NASA space program and lost no time in presenting NASA with a plan for exploring the solar system with JPL as the leading agency. By contrast, NASA’s more measured approach called for a program of lunar exploration that would eventually phase into the deep space phases of the program. The conflict of interest over the pace of the space program, was further exacerbated when the first several Ranger lunar missions, assigned by NASA to JPL, failed for various reasons, not all of them attributable to JPL.
In the investigations that followed, Pickering’s management philosophy came under attack. It was perceived to be more suited to a pure research-oriented organization rather than the project-type organization that NASA believed was necessary to achieve its immediate goal of landing on the Moon. Nevertheless, Pickering believed his role was best served by setting broad policy and viable goals backed with commensurate resources and leaving the implementation of his objectives to his top-level management staff with minimal interference from his office. As he saw it, his responsibility was to “protect” his staff from direct NASA interference, to allow them full freedom to pursue their JPL-assigned tasks. Among his employees, his management style engendered loyalty and dedication of the highest order.
To attract the very best scientific and engineering staff, Pickering established a campuslike environment at JPL, and depended upon a matrix-based, organizational agreement between the specialized technical divisions and the individual space project managers to provide the engineering expertise to build, test and launch their spacecraft. He insisted that an environment of freedom such as this not only allowed him to attract and retain highly motivated staff, but encouraged the innovative and creative processes that the new space enterprises required for success. Pride in these unique achievements engendered the hubris that so aggravated NASA.
Thus, when the sixth Ranger mission failed for reasons clearly attributable to JPL, NASA blamed the loss on the lack of discipline and management attention prevailing at JPL. Subsequently, a Congressional inquiry resulted in severe criticism of JPL’s attitude, its organization, its director and its relationship to NASA. It called for the installation of a general manager at JPL to bring its administrative and accounting procedures into line with NASA’s directives, and a reorganization of the laboratory technical resources to create a strong project office for each space project with commensurate authority to draw upon the technical divisions for engineering and scientific support. Pickering implemented the recommended organizational changes, but resisted changes in the laboratory’s top-level management (Koppes, 1982, pp. 156–160).
Eventually though, Caltech compelled him to accept, and cede the appropriate authority to, a general manager. Pickering could not accept the diminution of his authority easily, and it was not until the closing years of his tenure that he made the personal adjustments to resolve the conflicts in his office. By then, the Ranger and Surveyor lunar missions had been completed successfully and he had received worldwide acclaim for the first missions to Venus and Mars. Under Pickering’s leadership, JPL had diversified its interests to include the civil sector and was engaged in several, even more-ambitious planetary missions for NASA.
Despite their initially turbulent beginnings, Pickering had forged an enduring and remarkably productive relationship between JPL and NASA. As associate administrator Homer Newell observed years later, “Men of goodwill made it work” (Newell, 1980, p. 273).
Public Recognition Throughout his career, William Pickering received military, civilian, and academic awards and citations, too numerous to list in detail, from the United States, Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, and New Zealand. President Gerald Ford awarded him the National Medal of Science, America’s highest award for science, in 1975, and in 1994 he was presented with Japan’s highest scientific honor, the Japan Prize, in the presence of the emperor of Japan. The queen of England made him an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1975, and he received New Zealand’s highest public honor, the Order of New Zealand (ONZ) in 2003. The Royal Society of New Zealand also honored Dr. Pickering in 2003 by striking the Pickering Medal to recognize excellence and innovation in the practical applications of technology in that country. In 1965, NASA recognized his service to the nation with the award of the Distinguished Service Medal, and the following year the Republic of Italy bestowed its Order of Merit upon him for his contribution to aerospace technology.
William Pickering was elected as a member to the National Academy of Sciences in 1962. The following year, as then president of the American Rocket Society, in collaboration with the president of the Institute of Aerospace Science, Pickering effected the merger of these two professional societies to create the prestigious American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in February 1963. He was elected its first president, delivered the inaugural address on “The Exploration of Deep Space” in Pittsburgh in November 1963, and remained a powerful influence in expanding the international affiliation of that organization for the rest of his active life. In January 1965 he was inducted as a founding member into the newly formed, fourth element of the National Academies, the National Academy of Engineering.
As director of a world-class establishment of more than 5,000 engineers and scientists constantly in the media spotlight, Pickering became the voice, and the face, of JPL. In the United States and internationally, Pickering was in constant demand for speeches, addresses, interviews, and lectures to institutes of higher learning, scientific bodies, and organizations of all kinds. To his great credit he accepted them all—it seemed that he could not refuse an offer to speak about the space program and its influence on various aspects of modern life. He was very articulate and had the knack of making the most complex ideas on rocket propulsion or the latest scientific findings about Venus or Mars readily comprehensible to his audiences.
Several recurrent themes appeared in all of his public utterances. These lines of thought reflected the breadth of his interests and the depth of his concerns for the future well-being of his adopted country. He held no doubt that the United States could, and would, reestablish its preeminence over the Soviet Union in the field of space exploration, and he dedicated his outstanding talents to that end. He insisted that a measured approach to solving seemingly insurmountable problems, such as scientific exploration of distant planets, was the ultimate guarantee of success. He planned for success and would not accept failure. He believed that education, technology, and scientific curiosity were necessary underpinnings of a viable society.
Business and Philanthropy Following his retirement in 1976, Pickering spent several years assisting the government of Saudi Arabia to establish an institute of advanced technology in that country. Later, back in the United States, he set up a short-lived business venture that involved commercial applications of technology associated with Earth satellite observing systems.
In later years his concern with environmental issues led to the founding of a small company to manufacture an alternative fuel for environmentally friendly, domestic heating systems in remote areas. The product, wood pellets created from heat and pressure-treated sawdust, was the antithesis of the high-tech projects that had dominated his early professional life, but he was content. Always a very public-spirited man, Pickering lent his support, and reputation, to many educational and historical projects in the local Pasadena community.
Despite the fact that he built his career and reputation in the United States, Pickering never lost touch with his New Zealand roots. Over the years he made many return visits to New Zealand, and was greeted with enthusiasm and reverence on each occasion. In the main street of Havelock, a beautiful plaza pays tribute to the brilliant careers of two world-renowned New Zealand scientists, William Pickering and Ernest Rutherford, both of whom received their primary education at the Havelock Primary School. His attendance at the memorial dedication ceremony on 15 March 2003 marked his final appearance in his beloved homeland. He died exactly one year later.
In public, he created a personality and an image for JPL that was embraced by the public and professional communities alike. In his professional life at JPL he engendered loyalty, dedication, and above all the pursuit of excellence, in all who came within his sphere of influence. His passing in March 2004 was noted in the media throughout the world. Alluding to his vision and remarkable passion for exploring space, an official of NASA said that his pioneering work formed the foundation upon which the current program for exploring our solar system was built. The director of JPL described him as, “One of the titans of our Nation’s space program” (Whalen, 2004).
A comprehensive compilation of publications written by William H. Pickering can be found in, “William H. Pickering; Bibliography 1934–1975,” Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1976: See JPL Library Catalog under Pickering, William Hayward; Call No. Z8689.C153. Online: http://beacon.jpl.nasa.gov. For archival material, see Pickering, (William H.) Collection: 1958–1976. JPL 214, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Other JPL collections listed at http://beacon.jpl.nasa.gov/Find/FindHistorical/archlist.htm. The California Institute of Technology Archives holds papers of William Pickering. Finding aid “Guide to the Papers of William H. Pickering, 1941–1970” available from http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt067n97n6.
WORKS BY PICKERING
“A Note on the Production of Cosmic-Ray Showers.” Physical Review 47 (1 March 1935): 425.
“A Geiger Counter Study of the Cosmic Radiation.” PhD diss., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 1936.
With H. Victor Neher. “The Latitude Effect for Cosmic-Ray Showers.” Physical Review 53 (15 January 1938): 111–116.
———. “Modified High Speed Geiger Counter Circuit.” Letter. Physical Review 53, no. 4 (15 February 1938): 316.
———. “Results of a High Altitude Cosmic-Ray Survey near the Magnetic Equator.” Physical Review 61, nos. 7 and 8 (1 April 1942): 407–413.
———. “A Cosmic Ray Radio Sonde.” Review of Scientific Instruments 13 (April 1942): 143–147.
With H. Victor Neher and Robert A. Millikan. “Hypothesis as to the Origin of Cosmic Rays and Its Experimental Testing in India and Elsewhere.” Physical Review61, nos. 7 and 8 (1 April 1942): 397–407.
“Electronics in a Postwar World.” Engineering and Science Monthly 6 (November 1943): 11–14.
“The United States Satellite Tracking Program.” In Geophysics and the IGY: Proceedings of the Symposium at the Opening of the International Geophysical Year, edited by Hugh Odishaw and Stanley Ruttenberg. American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monograph no. 2. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, 1958.
“Missiles, Rockets and Space Flight.” In 75th Anniversary Issue, Electrical Engineering 78 (May 1959): 449–459.
“Communications throughout the Solar System.” In 15th Anniversary Issue, Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers 50 (May 1962): 594–595.
“Man at the Threshold of Space.” Engineering and Science 27, no. 1 (October 1963): 7–14.
“The Exploration of Deep Space.” American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Presidential Address, Pittsburgh, PA, 13 November 1963. See Pickering, (William H.) Collection: 1958–1976. JPL 181, Fld 95, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Archives.
“Some New Methods for Planetary Exploration.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 54 (December 1965): 1471–1479.
“The Selection of Space Experiments.” American Scientist 54 (March 1966): 103–109. “The Grand Tour.” American Scientist 58 (March–April 1970): 48–155.
Interviews by James H. Wilson. 1972. Archives, Oral History Program. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.
“Some Practical Considerations in Technology Transfer.” AAS 72-033. In Space Technology Transfer to Community and Industry: Proceedings of the AAS Eighteenth Annual Meeting and the Tenth Goddard Memorial Symposium, Held March 13–14, 1972, in Washington, D.C., edited by Ralph H. Tripp and John K. Stotz Jr. American Astronautical Society Science and Technology series, vol. 29. Tarzana, CA: Distributed by the AAS Publications Office, 1972.
Statement of William H. Pickering, Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Prepared for Senate Commerce Committee, Sub-committee on Science, Technology and Commerce, September 4, 1973. JPL Archives History Collection HC 3-778. Master Index page 273 online at http://beacon.jpl.nasa.gov/pdf/hcmasterindex.pdf.
“Technology in the Waning Century.” Engineering and Science 37, no. 1 (October 1973): 15–18.
“Proposal for an International Solar System Decade.” Astronautics and Aeronautics 12 (September 1974): 22–23.
With James H. Wilson. “Countdown to Space Exploration: A Memoir of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1944–1958.” Volume 2. History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the Third through the Sixth History Symposia of the International Academy of Astronautics History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics, edited by R. Cargill. Hall. AAS History Series vol. 7, part 2, pp. 385–421, 1977. Originally published as Essays on the History of Rocketry and Astronautics. NASA Conference publication CP-2014. Washington, DC: NASA, 1977.
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The AIAA at 50. New York: AIAA, 1981.
Campbell, John. Rutherford: Scientist Supreme. Christchurch, New Zealand: AAS Publications, 1999.
Hall, R. Cargill. Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger. NASA Special Publication 4210. NASA History Series. Washington, DC: Scientific and Technical Information Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1977.
Kluger, Jeffrey. Journey beyond Selene: Remarkable Expeditions past Our Moon and to the Ends of the Solar System. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999.
Logsdon, John M., ed. Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program. 2 vols. NASA Special Publication 4407. NASA History Series. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2001.
Mudgway, Douglas J. “Obituary: William Hayward Pickering, 1910–2004.” 2004 Annual Report Incorporating the 2004 Academy Yearbook. Wellington, New Zealand: Royal Society of New Zealand, 2004.
———. Big Dish: Building America’s Deep Space Connection to the Planets. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005.
Newell, Homer E. Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science. NASA Special Publication 4211. NASA History Series. Washington, DC: Scientific and Technical Information Branch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1980.
Thomas, Shirley. Men of Space, vol. 2, William H. Pickering. Philadelphia: Chilton Co., 1961.
Whalen, Mark, ed. “Dr. William Pickering, 1910–2004.” Universe, 4, no. 6, (March 2004): 1.
Douglas J. Mudgway