Krieger, Robert L. (1916–1990)

Robert Krieger was an American aerospace engineer and administrator. Krieger began his career with NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) in 1936 as a laboratory apprentice at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. Having left NACA temporarily for college, he earned a BS in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech in 1943 before returning to Langley. In 1945 he joined the group that set up the Pilotless Aircraft Research Station at Wallops Island under Robert R. Gilruth, and in 1948 was appointed director of Wallops Island – a facility that performed high-speed aerodynamic tests on instrumented models. In 1958 Wallops became an independent field center of NASA. Subsequently, Krieger led the first successful test flight of the Mercury capsule and oversaw the launch from Wallops of thousands of test vehicles, including 19 satellites. He retired as director in 1981.