The San Diego Air & Space Museum is remembering Glynn Lunney, one of the lead Flight Directors on almost every notable mission during the Apollo program and a member of the prestigious International Air & Space Hall of Fame. Lunney passed away on March 19, 2021 at the age of 84.
Since 1963, the International Air & Space Hall of Fame has honored the world’s most significant pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space explorers. Lunney joined his fellow luminaries from Mission Control in the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in 2013.
“Aviation and space exploration, as embodied by the honorees in the International Air & Space Hall of Fame, directly represents the human pioneering and exploring spirit. Glynn Lunney’s steady hand, outstanding leadership and steadfast dedication were an integral part to the successes of the Apollo program and America’s efforts to put men on Moon,” said Jim Kidrick, President & CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. “Glynn Lunney was not only a pioneering Flight Director, but he also was a true gentleman and great friend of the Museum. The San Diego Air & Space Museum mourns his loss while remembering him fondly for his compassion and incredible achievements.”
In April, 2020, Lunney joined fellow Flight Directors Gerry Griffin, Gene Kranz and Milt Windler and astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise for a special Apollo 13 50th Anniversary video reunion, which can be viewed on the Museum’s website at https://sandiegoairandspace.org/calendar/event/apollo-13-facebook-live-event
Lunney was a Flight Director throughout the Apollo program and was key player in many of its most notable missions, including Apollo 7 – the program’s first crewed mission – and Apollo 8, the first mission to send men to the Moon. He returned for Apollo 10, which also sent men to the Moon, and for Apollo 11, the first to land men on the lunar surface. He also served as Flight Director during Apollo 13’s harrowing rescue and the successful lunar landing of Apollo 15. Lunney and his fellow Flight Directors were inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in 2013 with NASA’s Mission Control.
Near the end of the Apollo program, Lunney became manager of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first collaboration in spaceflight between the United States and the Soviet Union. Later, he served as manager of the Space Shuttle program before leaving NASA in 1985 and later becoming a vice president of the United Space Alliance.
Lunney was a key figure in the US human spaceflight program from Project Mercury through the Space Shuttle program. He received numerous awards for his work, including the National Space Trophy, which he was given by the Rotary Club in 2005. Chris Kraft, NASA’s first flight director, described Lunney as “a true hero of the space age”, saying that he was “one of the outstanding contributors to the exploration of space of the last four decades”.
Glynn Stephen Lunney was born on November 27, 1936, and grew up in Old Forge in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. Lunney graduated from University of Detroit Mercy in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace engineering.
Lunney was the recipient of several awards and honors. He was a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society and of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 1971, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate from the University of Scranton. He received many awards from NASA, including three Group Achievement Awards, two Exceptional Service Medals and three Distinguished Service Medals.
The International Air & Space Hall of Fame is the most prestigious induction of its kind in the world and is composed of hundreds of air and space pioneers, engineers, inventors and innovators, along with adventurers, scientists and industry leaders. NASA Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts and Russian cosmonauts are honored in the Hall, as well as famous legends such as the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart. Notable inductees also include Buzz Aldrin, Igor Sikorsky, Wernher von Braun, Jack Northrop, Jackie Cochran, William Boeing, Sr., Reuben H. Fleet, Glenn Curtiss, Walter Zable Sr., Fran Bera, Wally Schirra, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, T. Claude Ryan, Jimmy Doolittle, Bob Hoover, Ellen Ochoa, Peggy Whitson, Linden Blue, Patty Wagstaff, and many more. See the following link: http://sandiegoairandspace.org/exhibits/online-exhibit-page/international-air-space-hall-of-fame.