Thomas J. Kelly (aerospace engineer)

Thomas Joseph Kelly (June 14, 1929 – March 23, 2002) was an American aerospace engineer. Kelly primarily worked on the Apollo Lunar Module, which earned him the name of “Father of the Lunar Module” from NASA.

Kelly led the team at Grumman that designed and built the Lunar Module (LM2 shown)

Kelly graduated from Cornell University in 1951, where he was a member of the Quill and Daggersociety. Afterwards, Kelly obtained his MS degree from Columbia University and Ph.D. from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.

Kelly was the project engineer, engineering manager and deputy program manager for Grumman Aircraft‘s Apollo Lunar Module (1962–1970). His 2001 book Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module documents the process of designing, building and flying the Lunar Module.

Tom Kelly and Owen Maynard(center) in the Spacecraft Analysis Room (SPAN) during the flight of Apollo 11

Kelly was portrayed by Matt Craven in the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon.

Thomas J. Kelly (aerospace engineer) was last modified: May 13th, 2021 by Jovan Stosic

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