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The Director: William Pickering
William Pickering

As director of JPL, William Pickering worked hard in the 1950s to take JPL out of the realm of military missiles and into the business of building scientific spacecraft. He also headed the lab during its transfer from the Army to the newly created NASA. Pickering led JPL for a remarkable 26 years, during an era that saw numerous successes in addition to Explorer, including Pioneer 3-4, Mariner 2-10, Rangers 7-9, Surveyor and Viking.

JPL photo number P-1880B

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