Raumfahrt - Charles Hollinshead, one time Voice of Apollo, dies



Charles T. Hollinshead, the last living NASA launch commentator for the Apollo Program passed away Monday at a veterans home in Asheville, North Carolina, after contracting Covid-19.

“Hollinshead, like every Apollo astronaut I ever spoke to, believed America would have research facility on the moon decades ago.” according to Hugh Harris who succeeded Hollinshead as director of news media activities at the Kennedy Space Center. He says “Hollinshead, like the rest of us believed that what NASA was doing was not because it was spectacular but because it drove the technological and economic leadership and wellbeing  of America.”

A voice heard by millions

Hollinshead was the voice Americans and the rest of the world heard during the countdown and launch of many of the final flights to the moon, Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz launch that marked a high point in U.S. and Russian cooperation in space activities.

Born to a Quaker family in Danville, Pennsylvania, Hollinshead helped shape the course of media services at the Kennedy Space Center and throughout NASA over a period of 28 years; 17 of those as Director of Public Affairs.

A graduate of Northwestern University, he joined the U.S. Navy in 1954 and spent four years as a Navy pilot.

After his discharge he became a writer and editor for the Martin Company’s Orlando Florida division, and in 1963 went to work for a NASA contractor writing press and public relations material on the space program.

In 1964 he joined NASA and held a variety of positions in Public Affairs ranging from writer and spokesman to the Chief of the Public Information Office. Hollinshead was manager of the News Center for Apollo 11, the first flight to land people on the moon.

In 1975 he was appointed Director of Public Affairs. He served on the Center Director’s policy staff advising him on all matters concerning the Center and directed the Public Affairs operations which included media relations, protocol and guest operations, and an educational outreach program aimed at brining science information into the elementary and high schools.

Numerous awards

Additionally, he was responsible for the content and operation of the visitor center, which hosted approximately two million visitors per year, for accommodating as many as two thousand media representatives at special events, and for all day-to-day public relations and community Rrlations activities associated with the Kennedy Space Center.

During the years, Hollinshead earned a number of awards, including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1986 for his role in helping NASA regain public confidence following the Challenger accident. He was awarded four Exceptional Service Medals for directing Public Affairs efforts associated with the Apollo/Soyuz mission, the Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology, the first flight of the Space Shuttle and the return to flight following the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Hollinshead served in a number of advisory positions including Executive Director of the United States Space Camp Advisory Council, advisor to the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, a member of the Brevard Community College Board of Governors, and the Public Relations Advisory Council, University of Journalism and Communications.

Quelle: Florida Today

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