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Norm Chaffee- Past AIAA Chair Passed Away

  • 1.  Norm Chaffee- Past AIAA Chair Passed Away

    Posted 27 days ago
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    Norman Chaffee passed away peacefully at his home on the morning of May 24th, 2024. Norm was born in Providence, Rhode Island and given the nickname Bing as a youngster. Raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Norm attended Rice University and the University of Tulsa, earning BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering. He briefly worked at Sunray DX Oil Company in Tulsa, but in 1962 made the bold move that would set the trajectory of his life when he accepted a job offer from NASA. Norm moved his young family to Pasadena, Texas and over the next 36 years pursued his great passion for the space program. He contributed to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs, and held leadership roles supporting the International Space Station, Automation and Robotics, and Biomedical Engineering Divisions. During his NASA career, Norm served as a mentor for many, the first secretary of the JSC chapter of AIAA, and was in the April 1st, 1969 meeting that started the Space Shuttle program (shown in the video at Kennedy Space Center before entering the Shuttle exhibit.)

    Following his retirement from NASA in 1998, Norm embarked on his second career in Educational Outreach, where he spent many hours working with students from preschool to university to teach the joys of STEM careers and opportunities available in the Space Industry. Norm became a legend in the educational realm and is respected and revered by countless colleagues and students across the country and globe who participated with him in local and international Space Settlement Design competitions, Systems Go!, countless Saturn V Rocket tours, and accepted as many opportunities as possible to share his love for both Engineering and Space. In March 2024, he received a US Congressional award for his contributions to STEM outreach and bestowed a flag flown over the Capitol building.

    Norm was a beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather. He will be greatly missed by his wife Kathie Patrick Chaffee, his sister Pam Tornello, his children, stepchildren, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his beloved little dog, Bella.

    Details for a memorial service will be shared later. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations to the Norman Chaffee Scholarship fund which will provide scholarships for students to attend Norm's beloved Space Settlement Design competitions. https://buy.stripe.com/00g9B63eXcWn8AoaEP

    Thomas Bryan
    Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
    Houston TX