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JPL Directors

Theordore von Karman  

Theodore von Karman
JPL Director, 1938 -1944

Von Karman's contributions to the field of aerodynamics were considerable.
He received the first National Medal of Science from President Kennedy.
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Frank Malina  

Frank Malina
JPL Director, 1944 -1946
Malina helped establish the research and testing facilities that would become JPL.
He also helped develop many of JPL's early successes for the U.S. Army.
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Louis Dunn  

Louis Dunn
JPL Director, 1946 -1954
Under Dunn's leadership, JPL developed its first post-war guided missile, the Corporal.
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William Pickering  

William Pickering
JPL Director, 1954 -1976
Pickering led JPL's efforts in the launch of the first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1.
He also won JPL's transfer from the Army to NASA.
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Bruce Murray  

Bruce Murray
JPL Director, 1976 -1982
Murray was part of the imaging team for the early Mariner missions to Mars and was a forceful advocate for planetary exploration. After his tenure he returned to Caltech, where he is currently an emeritus professor.
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Lew Allen, Jr  

Lew Allen, Jr.
JPL Director, 1982 -1990
Allen had a long and successful career in the military before becoming JPL's director.
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Edward Stone  

Edward Stone
JPL Director, 1991 -2001
With a specialty in cosmic radiation, Ed Stone became project scientist of the Voyager mission. After a decade as director, Stone returned to Caltech, where he is still Voyager project scientist.
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Charles Elachi  

Charles Elachi
JPL Director, 2001 - present
With an expertise in imaging radar, Elachi has had instruments study Venus and Earth. He is currently science team leader for the Cassini spacecraft's imaging radar instrument.
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