Gordon R. Woodcock Biography

Gordon Woodcock

Gordon Woodcock


Former member of the National Space Society Board of Governors

Gordon R. Woodcock was a retired Boeing engineer, former President of the L5 Society, and former Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee. He had 59 years experience in aerospace engineering, including over 100 technical papers and articles. He worked for Boeing, NASA, Space America, and Gray Research consulting on flight simulation development, image processing, propulsion, and mission architecture. Mr. Woodcock was president of the L-5 Society when it merged with the National Space Institute to become NSS.

Woodcock’s publications included the books Space Stations & Platforms and Space Exploration: Mission Engineering. Some of Mr. Woodcock’s articles even made it into popular venues: an article from the late 1970s in Analog magazine was later reprinted in a book by Robert Zubrin, in which he briefly discussed his study of the occultation technique. Earlier, in the mid-1970s, while a study manager on future space transporation systems, his work on analysis and design of an occulting spacecraft was included as part of the contractor report. Articles by Mr. Woodcock can be found in Resources of Near Earth Space and Solar Power Satellites, and New Destinies: The Paperback Magazine, Volume VII / Spring 1989, among others.

Woodcock served on several NASA advisory and review committees throughout the latter decades of the 20th century. His accomplishments include:

  • B.S. Aeronautical Engineering, Oregon State, 1954.
  • Joined Boeing 1954 as a test & technology engineer on ramjet & rocket propulsion R&D with the Bomarc & Minuteman programs. Assigned to Boeing Saturn I-C development team in Huntsville, AL.
  • Worked for NASA at Marshall SFC in the Future Projects Office on assignments including lunar & planetary missions, launch vehicles, and propulsion, 1963-1968.
  • M.S. Nuclear Engineering, University of Washington, 1965.
  • Rejoined Boeing on the Apollo technical integration program in Washington, D.C.
  • Returned to Seattle 1969 to work on the space shuttle preliminary design & upper stage preliminary design.
  • Managed design study contracts for NASA 1974+ including: Future Space Transportation, Solar Power Satellites, several space station Phase-A & technology studies.
  • Key member of winning Boeing space station Phase-B proposal team. Served as laboratory outfitting manager during part of Boeing’s Phase-B space station Program. Assigned as design strategy manager for the winning Phase C/D space station proposal.
  • Manager of Future Studies Office for Boeing’s Advanced Civil Space Systems program in Huntsville, AL; responsible for preliminary design of manned lunar & Mars exploration systems 1987+.
  • Retired from Boeing 1996.