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Bridwell, Gene Porter (1935-) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Bridwell, Gene Porter (1935-)

Historical Note:

Gene Porter Bridwell was born in Linton, Indiana in 1935. He graduated from Purdue with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1958. He was the seventh Director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center located in Huntsville, Alabama.

Bridwell began his professional career as an engineer with Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, California. He joined the Marshall Center in 1962 where his early assignments included the former Saturn Systems Office and the Saturn V Program Office. In 1975 he transferred to the Shuttle Projects Office and served in positions including Chief, Project Engineering Office; Deputy Manager of External Tank Project.; and, Manager of the External Tank Project.

During his NASA career, Bridwell also served as  Manager of the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle Definition Office, where he supervised efforts involving the proposed vehicle's design, development, and integration. He also served on special assignment with the Space Station Redesign Team and later the U.S./Russian Space Station Integration Team.  He managed the Shuttle's propulsion elements, including the Space Shuttle Main Engine, External Tank, Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor, Solid Rocket Booster, Advanced Solid Rocket Motor, and related systems and activities, including the Michoud Assembly Facility.

In the spring of 1987, he served temporarily as Acting Deputy Center Director, National Space Technology Laboratories in Mississippi and was appointed Director of Institutional and Program Support at the Marshall Center in October 1988. He assumed the position of Manager, Shuttle Projects Office, in May 1989.

In January 1990, Bridwell became the Director of National Launch Systems for NASA Headquarters, co-located at the Marshall Center. In February 1992, he transferred back to the Marshall Center from Headquarters, where he assumed his post as Manager of the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle Definition Office.

Bridwell retired from NASA in 1996 after thirty-four years of service. When he retired in 1996 he had served as director of the Marshall Space Flight Center since 1994.

Sources: Sources include G.P. (Porter) Bridwell profile page, Marshall Space Flight Center History Office:  http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/management/center_directors/pages/bridwell.html
Note Author: Tracy Grimm

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