Robert Alexander oral history interview



Robert Alexander oral history interview


Born-digital video recording of an oral history with Robert Alexander and interviewer Bruce Florsheim, recorded as part of The Museum of Flight Oral History Program, September 15, 2017.


Engineer Robert Alexander is interviewed about his career at Lockheed and his involvement with the Hubble Space Telescope. He discusses his three decades at Lockheed from the 1950s to the 1980s and shares details about his role as a design engineer for the Hubble and other spacecraft equipment. Topics discussed include his personal background, the development and legacy of the Hubble, and his work as a Museum of Flight docent.

Table Of Contents

Family and education -- Into the military -- Job after leaving Navy -- Piasecki Helicopter Company -- Time at Lockheed -- The Space Race -- Best job in the Space Program -- Hubble Telescope -- Mirror on the Hubble -- Launch of the Hubble -- Docent at The Museum of Flight -- More on Hubble -- Last comments




1 recording (36 min., 8 sec.) : digital



Bibliographic Citation

The Museum of Flight Oral History Collection/The Museum of Flight




Biographical Text

Robert Alexander was an engineer for Lockheed for more than three decades and worked on projects such as the Hubble Space Telescope. He was born on June 19, 1927 in Marcus, Washington and served in the United States Navy from 1945 to 1948. His Navy assignments included serving with base security at Naval Air Station Los Alamitos (California), overhauling gun turrets on Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer aircraft at NAS Corpus Christi (Texas), and launching tow targets for aircraft gunnery practice at NAS Atlantic City (New Jersey).

After his honorable discharge in 1948, Alexander worked as a kitchen designer and attended the Drexel Institute of Technology, wanting to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. In 1952, he was hired by Piasecki Helicopter as a weights analyst. The following year, Alexander was hired by Lockheed, beginning a three-decade career with the company. His early projects included designing interior equipment for the Super Constellation. In 1958, he joined Lockheed’s Missiles and Space division as a design engineer, participating in the development of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Agena Transporter, and other spacecraft equipment. Alexander retired in 1987. As of 2017, he is a member of The Museum of Flight Docent Corps.

Biographical information derived from interview and additional information provided by interviewee.