An Interview with General Samuel Phillips: Apollo Program Manager

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“An Interview with General Samuel Phillips: Apollo Program Manager,” interview by Howard E. McCurdy
Published in Quest Volume: 27 #4 (2020)


General Samuel C. Phillips was an Army Air Forces fighter pilot during WWII and stayed in the US Air Force as an engineering officer, rising to become director of the Minuteman ICBM program. In 1963 he was assigned to NASA at Dr. George Mueller’s request, serving as director for the Apollo Program at NASA Headquarters through the first manned lunar landing in 1969. At a dinner party in 1969, Wernher von Braun credited Phillips as the individual most responsible for the program successfully putting the first men on the Moon by the end of the decade. He then returned to the Air Force and ended his career as director of the National Security Agency. This interview includes Phillips’ thoughts on the state of NASA at the time of the interview in 1988, while the agency was still recovering from the loss of the Shuttle Challenger and the Space Station program was still in its very early stages.


Phillips, Samuel C. “An Interview with General Samuel Phillips: Apollo Program Manager.” Interview with Howard E. McCurdy. Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly 27, no. 4 (2020): 39-50.

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More Information

  • Archive ID # G300736
  • Format: Document (PDF)
  • Author/Creator:
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Publisher: Quest
  • Copyright Status: Copyrighted
  • Copyright Holder: SPACE 3.0
  • Language: English
  • Number of Pages: 12
  • Type: Oral History/Interview
  • Subject:
  • Collection: Quest
  • Availability: Digital Download