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The NASA insignia. A blue circle with the word NASA in white across the blue circle. There is also a red vector across the blue circle.

Chuck Hollinshead

Public Affairs, NASA

Chuck Hollinshead helped shape the course of media services at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and throughout the agency during 28 years; 17 of those as director of public affairs.

A graduate of Northwestern University, he joined the U.S. Navy in 1954 and spent four years as a navy pilot.

After his discharge he became a writer and editor for the Martin Company’s Orlando, Fla., division and in 1963 went to work for a NASA contractor writing press and public relations material on the space program.

In 1964, he joined NASA and held a variety of positions in public affairs ranging from writer and spokesman to the chief of the public information office. Hollinshead was manager of the news center for Apollo 11, the first flight to land people on the moon, and served as the “voice of launch control” for several Apollo missions and numerous unmanned launches.

In 1975 he was appointed director of public affairs. He served on the center director’s policy staff advising him on all matters concerning the center and directed the public affairs operations which included media relations, protocol and guest operations, and an educational outreach program aimed at bringing science information into the elementary and high schools. Additionally, he was responsible for the content and operation of the visitor center which hosted approximately two million visitors per year, for accommodating as many as two thousand media representatives at special events, and for all day-to-day public relations and community relations activities associated with Kennedy.

During his NASA career, Hollinshead earned a number of awards, including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1986 for his role in helping NASA regain public confidence following the Challenger accident. He was awarded four Exceptional Service Medals for directing Public Affairs efforts associated with the Apollo-Soyuz mission, the Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology, the first flight of the space shuttle and the return to flight following the loss of the space shuttle orbiter Challenger.

Through the years and after retirement, Hollinshead served in a number of advisory positions including Executive Director of the United States Space Camp Advisory Council, advisor to the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, a member of the Brevard Community College Board of Governors, and the Public Relations Advisory Council, University of Florida School of Journalism and Communications.