NASA Pioneer Dies - Caldwell (C.C) Johnson, a native of Hampton, VA and a graduate of Hampton High School died Sunday in Newport News. Johnson and his family moved to the Houston, TX region in 1962 with the relocation of NASA from Langley to Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center) in Texas and became one of the pair of engineer-designers who conceptualized and designed the Mercury and Apollo spacecraft. During Prior to his work at NASA, C.C. Johnson spent a brief period in the engineering program at the University of VA. During a summer job at Langley, he was recognized for his exquisite and flawless airplane models and was hired by NACA (NASA's predecessor) in 1937. From there he rose through the ranks to become the chief of the Spacecraft Design Division at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center, where his engineering drawings were said to look like works of art by NASA colleagues. Caldwell Johnson was the recipient of the AIAA Spacecraft Design Award, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, two NASA Certificates of Commendation, and many other awards for his innovative designs. Following his retirement from 38 years at NASA, along with his longtime collaborator at NASA and a former NASA astronaut, C.C. Johnson became Chief Engineer for Space Industries, Inc., a private spacecraft design firm near the Johnson Space Center outside Houston. In 2008 Mr. and Mrs. Johnson returned form Galveston, TX to reside in Newport News, VA.C.C. Johnson died Sunday, May 26 after a brief illness. He was married to the former Kathryn Lancaster (deceased) from Raleigh, NC and Hampton, VA and was the father of Jacquelyn A. Johnson and J. Craig Johnson (deceased). He is survived by his daughter, Jacquelyn A. Johnson; his granddaughter, Yarrow A. Upton; great-grandson, Odin R. Upton; sister, Elizabeth Kruse; sister-Peninsula Funeral Home is in charge of services.View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
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Published in Daily Press on June 2, 2013