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Jack Kerrebrock, professor emeritus of aeronautics and astronautics, dies at 91

Jack L. Kerrebrock, teacher emeritus of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, died at home on July 19. He was 91.

Born in Los Angeles in 1928, Kerrebrock received his BS in 1950 from Oregon State University, their MS in 1951 from Yale University, and his PhD in 1956 from Caltech. With a passion for aerospace, he held positions with all the nationwide Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Caltech, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory before joining the faculty of MIT being an assistant teacher in 1960.

Promoted to connect professor in 1962 also to complete teacher in 1965, Kerrebrock founded and directed the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Space Propulsion Laboratory from 1962 until 1976, with regards to joined aided by the department’s gasoline Turbine Laboratory, which he previously become manager in 1968. In 1978, he accepted the role of head for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro).

Kerrebrock enjoyed a worldwide reputation as an specialist inside development of propulsion methods for plane and spacecraft. Through the years, he served as chair or member of multiple consultative committees — both government and professional — and as NASA associate administrator of aeronautics and room technology.

As associate director of engineering, Kerrebrock had been the faculty frontrunner associated with the Daedalus venture in AeroAstro. Daedalus was a human-powered plane that, on 23 April 1988, flew a distance of 72.4 miles (115.11 kilometers) in three hours, 54 mins, from Heraklion on the area of Crete into island of Santorini. Daedalus nonetheless keeps the world record for human-powered trip. This flight had been the culmination of a decade of work by MIT students and alumni and made an important contribution towards the comprehension of the technology and engineering of human-powered trip.

Chosen into the National Academy of Engineering in 1978, Kerrebrock had been the receiver of numerous awards, including election toward standing of honorary other of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as the Explorers Club and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A member of the American Association for development of Science, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and Phi Kappa Phi, he received NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal in 1983. He was additionally a factor into the Intergovernmental  Panel on Climate Change, which and Al Gore won the Nobel reward in 2007.

Although a luminary in his field, Kerrebrock — an enthusiastic outdoorsman — had been perhaps never happier than when climbing a mountain, walking a wilderness trail, or leading a small grouping of young people through ice and snowfall to teach all of them freedom and success skills. He ran their first Boston Marathon inside the early 50s on a whim, without any instruction, following that with a number of even more marathons, such as the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington.

Kerrebrock along with his spouse Crickett traveled widely, to spots including South Africa, Scotland, Tuscany, Paris, plus very unique trip to Canaveral for just one regarding the final Space Shuttle launches, where he had been in a position to introduce their partner to his friend Neil Armstrong, who was among the woman heroes.

Kerrebrock ended up being married to Rosemary “Crickett” Redmond (Keough) Kerrebrock for the last 12 years of his life. He was formerly hitched for 50 many years to the late Bernice “Vickie” (Veverka) Kerrebrock, whom died in 2003. Along with their spouse, Kerrebrock results in two kiddies, Nancy Kerrebrock (Clint Cummins) of Palo Alto, Ca, and Peter Kerrebrock (Anne) of Hingham, Masachusetts; and five grandchildren, Lewis Kerrebrock, Gale Kerrebrock, Renata Cummins, Skyler Cummins, and Lance Cummins. He was preceded in death by his boy Christopher Kerrebrock, brother Glenn, and sis Ann. He also is recalled fondly because of the Redmond children, Paul J. Redmond Jr. along with his companion Joe Palombo, Kelly Redmond along with her spouse Philip Davis, Maura Redmond, Meaghan Winokur and James Winokur and their children, Laine and Alicia.

A general public memorial solution will be in the pipeline at MIT and will also be established soon. In lieu of plants, contributions in his memory might be made to the Jack and Vickie Kerrebrock Fellowship Fund, Massachusetts Institute of tech, 600 Memorial Drive, Cambridge MA 02139.