Glen P. Wilson, Jr.
B.S. AS.E. 1943
Consultant; Washington, D.C.
A native Texan with three degrees from The University, Dr. Glen P. Wilson, Jr. now lives in Washington, D.C., where he’s been a professional and personal advocate of the nation’s space program since its creation.
With a Ph.D. in psychology, Dr. Wilson traveled to Washington in 1955 to become an assistant to then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. Dr. Wilson’s bachelor’s of science degree in aeronautical engineering made him an ideal staff member on several space committees chaired by Senator Johnson. He served the Special Committee on Space and Astronautics, which wrote the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, and created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Dr. Wilson was a key staff member of the Standing Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, which led support for NASA’s Apollo program and later, the space shuttle program.
Dr. Wilson joined NASA in 1978 where he developed the Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP). The program encourages student interest in math and science by soliciting proposals for experiments to conduct on space shuttle missions. Millions of students have used SSIP resource materials and over 20, student-inspired experiments have occurred on shuttle missions. The success of the SSIP earned Dr. Wilson NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal in 1981.
Retired from NASA in 1982, Dr. Wilson continues his support of space sciences through the Marie D. and Glen P. Wilson Foundation. From 1984 to 1988 he was the executive director of the National Space Society, which promotes research, exploration, development, and habitation of space. He continues on the society’s board of governors as executive director emeritus.
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