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Heroes of Space: Abe Silverstein

11 Jun 2018, 02:00 UTC
Heroes of Space: Abe Silverstein
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Abe Silverstein was heavily involved in human rights organisations, as well as the Boy Scouts of America. Image Credit: NASA
Born in 1908 in Terre Haute, Indiana, Abe Silverstein was a curious and clever boy who was fated to help lead the American space programme from birth to maturity. Determined and fascinated by the way machines work, he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1929 and by 1934 he achieved a Master of Engineering from the Rose Polytechnic Institute.
Silverstein’s early proficiency and aptitude for engineering did not go unnoticed. After graduating in 1929 he was quickly snatched up by the predecessor to NASA – NACA. Known as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the agency placed Silverstein at the Langley Research Center. Employed as an aerodynamicist, Silverstein worked tirelessly on designing the Altitude Wind Tunnel, which would later be built in what was then the Lewis laboratory and now the Glenn Research Centre in Cleveland, Ohio. Talented and ambitious, Silverstein rose through the ranks until he was in charge of the Full-Scale Wind Tunnel. Not just a space pioneer, while working at Langley his aerodynamic research led to increased high-speed performance for many of the US ...

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