|Biography of Max
(please check back in March 2009 when enhanced site is launched)
Hunter has been in aircraft, missiles and space activities for over 50
years since graduating from MIT in 1944. For over 30 years with the
Rita single stage nuclear rocket at Douglas in 1959, with the StarClipper
expendable tank design at Lockheed in 1966 and the X-Rocket single stage
to orbit at Lockheed in 1985, he has continually pursued single stage
designs and aircraft-like operations as the keys to vastly improved,
economical space transportation.
In July of
1989, in order to better pursue the quest for superior space
transportation, he became a founder and President/CEO of SpaceGuild,
Inc. He was instrumental in starting the SDIO Single-Stage-To-Orbit
program in 1990 and worked closely with McDonnell Douglas Delta Clipper
team. The Delta Clipper DC-X first flew on August 18, 1993 at White
Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
He was with the
Douglas Aircraft Company for 18 years from 1944 to 1961. He was
responsible for the aerodynamic design of Nike-Ajax and Hercules, Sparrows
I, II and III, Honest John and other missiles. He was later, as Chief Missiles
Design Engineer, responsible for the design of Thor, Nike-Zeus, and
others, and as Chief Engineer of Space Systems, for the engineering of all
Douglas space efforts, including the Delta, the Saturn S-IV stage, and
In 1962, he
joined the professional staff of the National Aeronautics and Space
Council in Washington, D.C. As part of this advisory group to the
President of the United States, he provided insight into future space
programs and the creation of National Space Policy. While there, he
was the first to recognize the strong effect of Jupiter's gravity on
planetary probe vehicles and was instrumental in opening the outer solar
system by supplementing rocket performance with planetary gravitational
|He was with the
Lockheed Missiles and Space Company for 22 years from 1965 to 1987.
He was responsible for the design of the Advanced Space Transportation
Vehicles StarClipper and Shuttle, and originated the concept of using
large expendable tanks in shuttle design. He was program manager of
the Hubble Space Telescope during the creation phase of the design.
He did extensive work on the defensive applications of high energy lasers
and originated the Space Battle Station concept.
He has authored
over five dozen technical papers. Their subject matter has included
the unmanned exploration of the solar system and the economics of manned
space transportation, the latter dealing with both the utilization of
advanced nuclear rockets and the use of chemical rockets and expendable
tanks in space shuttles. He has also authored "Are
Technological Upheavals Inevitable?," published in the Harvard
Business Review, and a rocket propulsion textbook titled, "Thrust
Mr. Hunter graduated from Hollidaysburg High School, Hollidaysburg,
Pennsylvania in 1939. He received an A.B. degree in Physics and
Mathematics from Washington and Jefferson College in 1942, and an M.S.
degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in 1944. He attended the Advanced Management Program of
the Harvard Business School in 1967.
He is Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, and a
Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American
Astronautical Society, and British Interplanetary Society. He is a
member of the International Academy of Astronautics and an honorary member
of the Japanese Rocket Society. In 1982, he received the NASA Public
Service medal for "the definition and promotion of the space shuttle
and its utilization." In 1995, he received the Werhner
von Braun Memorial Award of the National Space Society for
"lifelong contributions to the fields of rockets, missiles and
Max Hunter passed away in November 2001 at Stanford Hospital.