Boeing Bridges 2000

General Roy D. Bridges

The second William E. Boeing lecture took place on October 26, 2000. Our guest speaker was General Roy D. Bridges, Jr. MSAAE'66, DEA'98, OAE'99. His presentation Kennedy Space Center: Constructing a Future gave a personal view of NASA's Spaceport Technology Center.

As Director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center, (KSC), General Bridges is responsible for managing all NASA facilities and activities at KSC related to processing and integration of NASA payloads flown on both Shuttle and Expendable Launch Vehicles. Final development and preparation of International Space Station elements to be flown aboard the Shuttle, and for developing spaceport technologies to improve safety and reduce cost of access to space.

As a military officer and pilot for the U.S Air Force he flew 226 combat missions in the F-100 over Vietnam. Following his tour he served in various leadership positions. Among these he was appointed commander of the 6510th Test Wing, the Eastern Space and Missile Center, and the Air Force Flight Test Center with duties including all testing and research at the base. His military career was exemplary, culminating in the rank of two-star major general.

In 1981, NASA selected General Bridges to be an astronaut. He was the pilot of the Spacelab-2 mission (STS-51F) in 1985, logging 188 hours in space.

General Bridges continues to serve our country with his administration, management, and leadership skills as the Director of the Kennedy Space Center. In this highly visible position he oversees the direction of our discovery in space.

General Bridges has distinguished himself as few have in theses demanding positions. Among his many awards and commendations are the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf clusters, and the Meritorious Service Medal. He has been honored by Purdue University as a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus in 1998 and an Outstanding Aerospace Engineer in 1999.

With the installation of the Boeing Mach 6 wind tunnel and the new Boeing and Intel Design/Build/Test Laboratory, Boeing continues to help our aeronautical students receive practical "hands-on" experience. They are such an important part of our students' academic program.