James R. Schofield

James R. Schofield

Inducted in 2017

Mr. James “Jim” Schofield, a Navy veteran, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering ‘59, with honors, from North Carolina State College. He was an integral part of Douglas Aircraft, McDonnell Douglas, and Boeing until his retirement as Program Manager of Payload Processing Operations at Kennedy Space Center in May of 2001.

Mr. Schofield’s unmanned experience encompasses the development of NIKE Ajax, Hercules, and Zeus missile defense systems. He was a major contributor to the DELTA Program presently in use providing communication, weather, GPS, and defense satellites in space. He was the NIKE Zeus Launch Director on June 5, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was the first sitting President to witness an unmanned launch at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Mr. Schofield also had key roles in launching 122 manned space missions. He was the SV-Third Stage Launch Director for all 9 Apollo moon missions and while serving in this position on November 14, 1969, Richard M. Nixon--the first sitting president to attend a manned launch-- was in the viewing area as Apollo 12 was launched. Mr. Schofield’s Space Shuttle payload processing ingenuity enabled multiple satellites, experiments, interplanetary probes, and complex technical equipment to achieve their objectives in space.

He received a combined 14 NASA Honors, Recognitions, Commendations, and a United States Congress Commendation. In 2003, Jim received the prestigious National Space Club Lifetime Achievement Award. After his retirement, his expertise has continued to be sought on projects in research and development stages.