HALL OF FAME
E-Mail: Museum Director
Mr. Nathan Wagner
Nathan Wagner was born Nov. 6,1921, in Brooklyn, NY. He
received his early education in New York. He earned his bachelor's degree in
electrical engineering at Ohio State University at Columbus.
Wagner came to White Sands Proving Ground in 1947, as
an engineer with New Mexico A & M's Physical Sciences Laboratory. He joined
the proving ground workforce in 1950.
In March 1957, Wagner became the range's Missile Flight
Safety Officer. His goal was to build a flight safety organization and develop
the technology to control flights and make missile testing safer. Many of
Wagner's safety guidelines are still used at White Sands and other Department
of Defense installation around the world.
While serving as missile flight safety officer, Wagner
proposed firing missiles from off the range to White Sands using flight
corridors over sparsely populated areas. This led to missile launches from
Fort Wingate, NM, Green River, Utah and a new launch point at Mountain Home,
Because of his achievements, Wagner is known throughout the testing community
as the "Father of Missile Flight Safety."
In 1965, Wagner was asked to develop an engineering
organization to update White Sands Missile Range (WSMR's) instrumentation and
plan for its future needs. Wagner became technical director of this
organization, known as National Range Engineering. Later the organization was
renamed the Instrumentation Directorate. Today the directorate has an
established reputation throughout the nation for its work in designing and
developing instrumentation for military testing.
Wagner retired from federal service in June 1973. He
and his wife, Alma, lived in Las Cruces.
Mr. Wagner died on 6 May 1991.