Press Release

NASA statement on the passing of Clarence Sy Syvertson

By SpaceRef Editor
September 15, 2010
Filed under ,
NASA statement on the passing of Clarence Sy Syvertson

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Clarence A. “Sy” Syvertson, a former Director of the NASA Ames Research Center from 1977 to 1984. He died the evening of Sept. 13, 2010 at the age of 84.

Sy was an exemplary scientist and a dynamic and innovative leader who began his career at Ames in 1948 and matched his theoretical insights on hypersonic airflows with brilliant experimental work. He led the 3.5-foot hypersonic wind tunnel branch and developed advanced vehicles like the XB-70 Valkyrie and the M2 lifting bodies. His fundamental work on reentry vehicles contributed to the design of the space shuttle. He served as Director of Astronautics and during the tenure of former Ames Center Director Hans Mark from 1969 to 177 as Center Deputy Director.

Under his leadership, NASA Ames continued to blossom as a world-class research organization. Ames people did groundbreaking research on vertical-lift aircraft, built the world’s largest wind tunnel, flew the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, consolidated its collaboration with NASA Dryden, and prepared the Galileo Probe for its journey to Jupiter. He was elected to the NASA Ames Hall of Fame, was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the AIAA, and won many awards for his service to NASA and to space exploration. Most recently, Sy visited Ames for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Historic Aerospace Site dedication held on August 25, 2009.

Please join me in expressing our deepest sympathy to the Syvertson family and his many friends.

Services are planned for this Sunday.

S. Pete Worden

SpaceRef staff editor.