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James Hartsfield January 24, 1994

RELEASE: 94-008


Richard A. Colonna, 60, a 35-year veteran of NASA and Manager of Johnson Space Center's White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, New Mexico, died suddenly today while on a business trip to Washington, D.C.

Colonna's career spanned the beginnings of manned space flight and his engineering and analysis work was integral to the creation and success of every United States manned space program to date. His most recent assignment began in 1992. As WSTF manager, he was responsible for NASA's premier facility for testing, simulating and developing orbital propulsion systems for manned spacecraft and analyzing and testing material used in the construction of manned spacecraft.

"From Mercury through the Space Shuttle, Dick Colonna's work made him one of the pioneers of our business," Johnson Space Center Director

Dr. Carolyn L. Huntoon said. "He was one of the engineers whose expertise and dedication helped to bring successes and accomplishments to our nation's space program. We are saddened by his passing, but he will be long remembered for his contributions."

Joseph Fries, WSTF Deputy Manager, has assumed duties as acting manager.



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