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The Avro Engineers who went to NASA

The Avro Engineers

and NASA


"Arrows To The Moon", is the amazing story of the Canadian and British AVRO engineers that were whisked away to NASA on the eve of the cancellation of the 'Arrow' project. The research Mr.Gainor has put into this book is incredible. These engineers were leaders of the American space program, and they were unknown, until now.
A MUST READ! Scott McArthur, Technical Director Arrow Recovery Canada Inc.

Left to Right-Bryan Erb, Stanley Galezowski, Bruce Aikenhead, Owen Maynard, David Ewart and Owen Coons
May 1994 reunion in Toronto

  " As the Space Task Group's burden was threatening to overwhelm it, the Canadian government unintentionally gave the American space program its luckiest break since Wernher von Braun had surrendered to the Americans ------ The Canadians never gained much public recognition for their contribution to the manned space program, but to the people within the program their contribution was incalculable"*


     On February 20, 1959, the Canadian government shut down the CF-105 Avro Arrow jet interceptor program, putting thousands of workers and the cream of Canada's aerospace engineering talent out of work. Avro Canada had over 200 engineers employed, working on several projects. These engineers immediately sought new employment. Some remained in Canada, moving out of the aviation field, some traveled to Great Britain and found employ working on the design of the Concorde SST. Most went to the United States. South of the border, a brand new organization called the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was charged with putting U.S. astronauts into space, and it desperately needed engineers. Within 10 weeks of the demise of the Arrow, 25 Avro engineers were working for NASA, and another six would join them later. Other Avro engineers found work with the aerospace contractors that worked with NASA.
A little more than 10 years later, US astronauts would stand on the surface of the Moon in what became one of the greatest stories of technology and exploration in human history.

A Sample selection of the Engineers:

Jim Chamberlin

The former designer of the Arrow who went on to design the Gemini spacecraft and help NASA decide how to go to the Moon.

Project Manager
Designer and Project Manager Gemini
Technical Advisor and Troubleshooter for Bob Gilruth, MSC Director (Apollo).
Shuttle concepts
Owen Maynard
Owen Maynard, the engineer from Sarnia, Ont., who quickly rose through the ranks to give life to the Apollo Lunar Module and later oversee the engineering effort on Apollo.
NASA Space Task Force, Chief Engineering Designer of the Lunar Landing Module.

John Hodge

John Hodge (1929- ) began a distinguished career at NASA in 1959. He worked in the area of flight control at Langley Research Center and the Johnson Space Center until 1970. In 1982 he became Director of the Space Station Task Force at NASA Headquarters. He then took on a series of increasingly responsible positions dealing with the Space Station, culminating with him being named Associate Administrator for Operations, Space Station, in 1986.
Flight Director, Gemini and Apollo Programs
Rod Rose
The British engineer who helped plan the Apollo missions and picked out the first prayer to be broadcast from space.
Mission Operations assistant to Chris Kraft.
Apollo and Shuttle
mission planning

Chris Gainor ­ The Author

Chris Gainor, the author of Arrows to the Moon, has had a lifelong interest in space exploration and is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. He is a communications professional in Victoria, B.C. As a journalist, he won a National Newspaper Award, and has written about space exploration for publications including the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, the Medical Post, Spaceflight magazine, and Quest, the history of spaceflight quarterly. For the past six years, he has been researching and writing Arrows to the Moon. His research includes extensive interviews with the NASA/Avro engineers and those who worked with them, and documents from NASA and other archives.

*Apollo: The Race to the Moon,Simon and Shuster,New York,Charles Murray and Catherine Bly-Cox.1969




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