NASA Program Director
A Renaissance Engineer – From Sailplanes to Spacecraft
Born in Eldorado, Texas, Oran W. Nicks was an aeronautical engineer at NASA and a leader in America’s race to the Moon. As Director of Lunar and Planetary Programs in the 1960s, he was responsible for the first 30 unmanned missions to the Moon, Mars and Venus. He left NASA in 1980 for Texas A&M University where he oversaw aerospace research projects and directed a low-speed wind tunnel research facility. An avid soaring enthusiast, Nicks spent his retirement building and flying a world-class sailplane.