Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Pillar in American Rocketry

The mighty Titan was America’s Rocket
by Gary F.

I worked for Martin Marietta, and then Lockheed Martin, for 40 years. My first and last love will always be the history of the Titan rocket program. I started on the Titan I and II intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) programs and then worked on the Titan launch vehicle programs. Watching any of our Titan rockets roar off the launch pad is a thrill that is very hard to match.
In the early 1980s, we tried to convince Pentagon leaders that they shouldn't rely on the Shuttle solely for satellite launch capability. We were successful and then won the competition for the program that would become Titan IV. I always considered this one of our nation’s great capabilities as most major Department of Defense space programs were put into orbit with the Titan IV. I also used to remind the Air Force that Titan was America's Rocket as it involved most of the major defense contractors. It was sad for me to watch the last launch of Titan IV from Vandenberg Air Force Base after I retired. I do feel very privileged to have been associated with our great company and all the things we did for our nation!