50th Anniversary: Kamloops man played key role in putting first man on the moon - InfoNews

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50th Anniversary: Kamloops man played key role in putting first man on the moon

Kamloops born James Chamberlin played a major role in putting man on the moon on July 20, 1969.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED /NASA
July 20, 2019 - 10:30 AM

KAMLOOPS - As the world commemorates the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon, there's a local connection you might not have known about. A man from Kamloops played a key role in the achievement.

James A. Chamberlin rose to become one of the Apollo program's top troubleshooters, helping resolve issues with the command, service and lunar modules, according to NASA.

Born in Kamloops on May 23, 1915, Chamberlin was a major figure in Canadian aircraft design in the 1950s prior to moving to the U.S. to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

He graduated from University of Toronto in 1936 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Chamberlin then went to London where he earned a master’s degree from the Imperial College of Science and Technology.

He was one of the top people at Avro Aircraft, working as chief aerodynamicist on the Avro C-102 Jetliner and the CF-100 jet interceptor.

Chamberlin became chief of technical design during the design and construction of the Avro Arrow, once considered the most advanced fighter jet of its time.

He went to NASA after the Diefenbaker government cancelled the Arrow program and worked on the Mercury and Gemini programs prior to the Apollo program.

NASA’s history website says Chamberlin was one of the first engineers to understand the benefits of a lunar orbit rendezvous flight mode rather than a direct earth to moon flight.

The development of the ‘lunar orbit insertion plan’ was a direct result of his work. He left the space agency in 1970.

Chamberlin’s legacy includes honours such as the NASA exceptional scientific achievement medal and the NASA exceptional service medal. Space historian David Baker once described Chamberlin as "probably one of the most brilliant men ever to work for NASA."

In 2001 he was inducted into the Canadian Aviation’s Hall of Fame.

Chamberlin, who became an American citizen in 1964, died in Houston, Texas, on March 8, 1981.

Kamloops born James A. Chamberlin helped design the AVRO Arrow before moving to the United States to play a major role in NASA's space program.
Kamloops born James A. Chamberlin helped design the AVRO Arrow before moving to the United States to play a major role in NASA's space program.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED /WIkipedia

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