During the Apollo Moon Program he was a lead engineer supporting operations at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston Texas (now the Johnson Space Center). He developed procedures allowing astronauts to monitor and control the Apollo Command Module’s Onboard Guidance and Navigation Computer during atmospheric reentry. He provided real-time support during missions Apollo 9 through Apollo 14, including Mission Control Center backroom support during the extended 6-minute reentry blackout period on Apollo 13.
Following Apollo he was the overall program manager for the development of the onboard software for NASA’s Space Shuttle. Later in his career Jack was a Senior Vice President of Engineering at Lockheed Martin and led the organization that designed the modernization of the FAA’s nationwide Air Traffic Control computer systems, the United Kingdom’s London Area Air Traffic Control Centre, and Air Traffic Systems in Scotland, Eastern Europe, South America, and New Zealand.
Jack appeared as himself in the Command Module episode of the Discovery Science Channel six-part documentary Moon Machines. He has written and made numerous presentations about the space program, on the importance of systems engineering (for non-engineering audiences), and on why science matters.
He is also a published author and a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. His non-fiction, short fiction and science fiction have appeared in numerous magazines, books and anthologies. His short stories “Will Little Note, Nor Long Remember” and “Tool Dresser’s Law” first appeared in Amazing Stories Magazine. “Will Little Note, Nor Long Remember” was reprinted here in Volume 0, Number 1 of the re-launch of Amazing Stories. “Tool Dresser’s Law” is reprinted in Amazing Stories Magazine 88th Anniversary Special Edition, available for download from the Amazing Stories Store.
In 2018 Jack was awarded an Established Artist Fellowship Grant for Literary Fiction by the Delaware Division of the Arts. He also writes a space and science column for Amazing Stories Magazine.
Jack’s book Safely to Earth: The Men and Women Who Brought the Astronauts Home, a memoir of his time on NASA’s Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, will be published by University Press of Florida in the fall of 2018.Read Jack’s Posts