Thomas J. Kelly


Thomas J. Kelly
Death date
Associated organizations
Grumman Aircraft
Fields of study


Thomas J. Kelly earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA, and his master's degree in the same field from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. He spent his career at Grumman Aircraft Corp. in Bethpage, New York, as a propulsion engineer. There he led a team of engineers building a vehicle to take a crew to the Moon and back again.

On 20 July 1969, the Lunar Excursion Module, called Eagle, landed the first two astronauts on the Moon. Mr. Kelly wrote a book about this experience, Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module (Smithsonian Institution Press).

Mr. Kelly was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and received NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Kelly died on March 23rd, 2002.