Jesco von Puttkamer, a protégé of Wernher von Braun whose NASA career ranged from the Apollo manned lunar landing project to the International Space Station, died Dec. 27, 2012, of a flu-like illness. He was 79. At his death he was still active at the U.S. space agency, producing a daily online rundown of activities on the ISS.
Born in Leipzig, Germany, von Puttkamer earned a degree in mechanical enginnering at the Technische Hochschule in Aachen, and joined von Braun's organization at Marshall Space Flight Center in 1962 to work on Apollo. He moved to NASA headquarters in 1974 to manage planning for human spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit.
Von Puttkamer received NASA's Exceptional Service Medal, and was named German-American of the Year in 2008 by the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA.
A prolific writer, von Puttkamer was the author of more than a dozen books, and a contributor to Aviation Week's On Space blog. His posts for us: