Richard L. “Dick“ Kline
Dick Kline received his BSME from Yale University and MSME from Princeton University. He joined Grumman Aerospace in June 1956 in the Thermodynamics Department.
He was designated Apollo Lunar Module Thermal Shield Program Manager starting in 1966. He and his team developed a Thermophysics Laboratory where radiative properties of materials were determined under vacuum conditions. He then served as Grumman Technical Manager for the Lunar Module LTA-8 Manned System Test Program, managing all technical elements of this full-scale test campaign conducted at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center at Houston, Texas. Two astronauts operated the Lunar Module in the 26 ft. vacuum chamber facility. The test objectives validated the flight profiles showing that the LM would perform properly in orbit. He received the NASA Astronaut’s Silver Snoopy Award “for Professional Excellence as Technical Director”.
He was later appointed Program Vice President, Grumman Space Division, with responsibility for civilian programs. He led cutting-edge technology developments encompassing, satellite servicing, EVA, telepresence and payload handling topics. He proposed that Grumman bid for NASA’s Space Station Program Support contract. This was a win and he helped establish a new Grumman division.
He served as Vice President and Deputy Director of the new Grumman Space Station Program Support Division, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with operations at five NASA Centers (790 employees). He championed a short module concept, Integrated Truss concept and restructuring to reduce program costs by $6B. These proposals were baselined. His team received NASA Headquarter’s Special Service Group Award “for Contribution to the Restructuring Design of Space Station Freedom”.
After joining NASA In 1992 he directed a National Facilities Study to formulate a coordinated National Plan for World-class aeronautics and space facilities. It included review of over 1800 NASA, DoD, & DOE facilities. An unclassified facility inventory was placed on the Web for public use. All of his team’s 91 recommendations were accepted or accepted with modification. He was commended by U.S. Vice President Al Gore as part of reinventing government and received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal for leadership.
He has been an active IAF participant since 1977, contributing as Co-Chair of the World Space Congress Technical Program Committee; Chairman, Congress Committee; and Co-Chair, International Program Committees over more than nine years.
He was appointed Affiliate Professor at George Mason University (GMU), and served for eighteen years on GMU’s School of Computational Sciences and Informatics Advisory Board, including four years as Chair.
He received the IAF Alan D. Emil Award, IAA Space Sciences Award, AAS Lovelace Award “for outstanding contributions to Space Science & Technology”, AIAA Medal for International Cooperation and their von Braun Space Management Medal. He received the “Yale Science & Engineering Award for Distinguished Service to Industry, Commerce or Education”.
Dick is a past IAA Trustee and Scientific Activities Committee Vice-Chair. He was elected Fellow, and Director of the AIAA; and Fellow and Director of the American Astronautical Society.