James, Jack N. (Jack Norval), 1920-2001Alternative names
James was Mariner R Project Manager.
From the description of Sonett's letter of 1961 Oct 16 with four action items regarding Mariner R : letter to Charles Sonett, 1961 Oct 20. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733097630
James was Deputy Planetary Program Director.
From the description of Criticism of the New PMP (Program Management Plan) Format : letter to F.D. Kochendorfer, NASA, 1961 Feb 23. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733097592
James was Mariner Project Manager.
From the description of Locations of the Accelerometers on the Mariner C Spacecraft Adapter for Measurement of the Flight Vibration Environment and Identification of the Accelerometer to be Mounted on the Spacecraft : letter to S.C. Himmel, Lewis Research Center Agena Project Manager, 1964 Mar 2. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733098350
Jack Norval James was born November 22, 1920 in Dallas, Texas. He was married to Ruth Florence Shockly of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and had 3 sons and 1 daughter. He graduated from Sunset High School, Dallas, Texas in 1937. He later graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas in 1942 and from Union College, Schenectady, New York with a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1949. He also attended the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California in 1951.
Prior to working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), James, as a student, worked as a surveyor for the City of Dallas in 1940 and also as a roustabout for the Atlantic Refining Company from 1941 - 1942. James saw active duty in the U.S. Navy from June 1943 to April 1946. During that period, he was trained in radar at Bowdoin College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bell Laboratories. He was a radar instructor at Princeton and Pacific Fleet Schools and served as Radar Maintenance Officer aboard Landing Ship Tanks (LST) and the battleship South Dakota. He was employed as a Research Engineer from 1945 to 1950 at RCA and General Electric in Schenectady, New York. At General Electric, from 1946 to 1949, he worked on the Hermes Ordnance project, working mainly on rocket motors, radar command and tracking systems for the V-2 rocket.
On March 17, 1950, James began his association with JPL as a Research Engineer in the Telemetering Division. He developed both ground and flight radar equipment for the Corporal missile system, the nation's first guided ballistic missile, and was responsible for key field operations and tracking stations on the Explorer 1 and Pioneer 4 Projects. He served as Deputy Director for the U. S. Army's Sergeant Project, a solid propellant surface-to-surface ballistic guided missile. In 1961 James was named Project Manager of the Mariner Venus Project, which resulted in the world's first successful planetary mission when Mariner 2 flew by Venus on December 14, 1962. He was named Project Manager for the Mariner Mars Project, which resulted in the first successful Mars mission when Mariner 4 encountered that planet on July 14, 1965. In December 1964, he became the Deputy Assistant Lab Director (ALD) for Lunar and Planetary Programs; Acting ALD for Lunar and Planetary Programs in March 1965; Deputy ALD for Lunar and Planetary Programs in December 1966 and ALD of Technical Divisions in October 1967.
In mid-April 1972, James stopped working for medical reasons, returned on September 25, 1973 on a part time basis and obtained several ad hoc assignments. In 1978, he became the ALD for Technology and Space Program Development and in September 1980, he formed the Applied Technology Development Office and became the ALD of that division. On October 9, 1985, James requested employment phase out and proposed to become head of the DCP Engineering Office on January 1, 1986. On May 1, 1986 he began working part time and retired from JPL on January 1, 1987.
James was a member of Sigma Tau, Sigma Xi, AIAA and IEEE. He was the recipient of the Astronautics Engineer Award presented by the National Rocket Club in 1963, the NASA Public Service Award and was co-recipient of the 1963 Louis W. Hill Space Transportation Award. In 1965 James was awarded the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement medal by President Lyndon B. Johnson at a White House ceremony for managing the Mariners to Venus and Mars. He has received the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from Southern Methodist University. In 1967 James was co-recipient of the Stuart Ballantine Medal presented by the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia.
From the description of Jack N. James Collection, 1945-1986. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733100098
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|Mariner c spacecraft|
|Surveyor project :|
|Mariner program :|
|Mariner 1 space probe|
|Ranger project :|
|Mariner 2 space probe|