NASA Audio File

Roy Estess, who served as director of the John C. Stennis Space Center from 1989 to 2002, died June 25. He was 71.

Estess, a native Mississippian, graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He came to the center as a test engineer in 1966, after earning his master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard University. He served NASA in various other capacities in a career that spanned 37 years, including Stennis’ deputy director from 1980 to 1989, and acting director of the Johnson Space Center from February 2001 through March 2002.


Estess also was the founding director of Hancock County, Mississippi’s

Infinity Science Center, which is now under construction.


Funeral services will be held June 29 in Carriere, Mississippi.

TRT: 1:00

Super: NASA

Center Contact: Rebecca Strecker, 228-688-3249

HQ Contact: Michael Cabbage, 202-358-1600

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Note: This audio excerpt took place as Roy Estess bids farewell to employees at the Johnson Space Center after serving as their acting director (2001 - 2002)


Cut 1 (01:00) - “I went around the center today, carrying my family on a tour, and was reminded of all the tremendous people that are here.  Everywhere you look there are just tremendous, tremendous people that work at the Johnson Space Center.  I’ve said it many times before and I will wind up saying it again tonight, when I came here I had a great impression of JSC, having come here many times over my entire many year career.  As I leave I continue to be amazed that the place is populated so broadly and so deeply with so many people who have such talent, who could be making so much more money somewhere else.  The American people and our international partners are truly blessed to have this collection of talent in Houston, Texas to guide our human space flight program.  It has been an honor to serve with you, Thank you.”
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