The National Space Society is sad to report the passing of Bob Citron. Born in 1932, he was involved in dozens of space and future-related projects, businesses, and organizations during his lifetime of 79 years. He died on Jan 31, 2012 of prostate cancer.
He was an active member of many other organizations, including most of the well-known pro-space groups such as the National Space Society. Bob Citron was presented with a Space Pioneer award by the NSS for his work on developing the SpaceHab soon after the NSS Pioneer award was founded in 1988.
The creation of SpaceHab was perhaps his most important contribution. It was a small space laboratory, about 1/3 as long as the full size SpaceLab, that resided in the Shuttle cargo bay and provided additional crew locker and work space when a payload was also being delivered to orbit. SpaceHab flew on 17 missions with the Shuttle. Use of the SpaceHab units was phased out once the Shuttle’s primary work became ferrying space station modules into orbit.
Bob Citron’s other achievements included the founding or co-founding of five companies: Limpopo Films, Pty. Ltd. in 1964, Adventure Travel, Inc. in 1976, SpaceHab, Inc. in 1984, Kistler Aerospace Corporation in 1993, and Lunar Transportation Systems, Inc. in 2004. In addition, he also started three nonprofit foundations dealing with scientific field research: EarthWatch in 1969, The Center for Short Lived Phenomena in 1975, and the Foundation For the Future in 1996.
His long involvement with pro-future and humanitarian organizations showed his strong support for ways to advance and protect the progress of humanity.
He will be missed, but his work will continue in the many organizations he left behind.