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Noel Hinners, former NASA scientist, dies at 78

September 6, 2014

LITTLETON, Colorado (AP) — Noel Hinners, a former chief scientist for NASA who helped plan the scientific exploration of the moon for the Apollo program and later oversaw projects such as the Mars Surveyor Program, has died.

Hinners’ brother Bill Hinners said Saturday that Hinners died Friday after battling a brain tumor. He was 78.

Hinners began his meteoric space career in 1963 by helping plan the lunar exploration and was just 33 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. He worked on the Apollo program until 1972, when he became the space agency’s director of lunar programs. He later served as the director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington and the director of the Goddard Space Flight Center. He retired from NASA as its third-ranking executive.

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