3/13/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As we celebrate Air Force Space Command's 30th Anniversary we recognize individuals who played a significant role in the history of the Air Force space and missile programs - our Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers ...
This week we recognize Colonel Quenten A. Riepe, USAF and Dr. Robert M. Salter, Jr.,
Colonel Quenten A. Riepe played an important role in Air Force
space history as the first project manager for the defense satellite
program. As Chief of the Flight Research Lab at Wright Air Development
Center (WADC), Col Riepe completed one of the first space utility and
feasibility reports to determine methods and goals. Also, Col Riepe's
RAND liaison officer duties on the Advanced Reconnaissance System,
MX-2226 (Project 1115) involved overseeing many aspects of the
development of reconnaissance satellites: attitude, guidance, and
control; a solarelectrical energy converter; intelligence processing
methods; the auxiliary power plant; and the effects of nuclear radiation
on electronic components.
Four months after the Soviets launched Sputnik I, Col Riepe, Chief,
Facilities and Test Division, WDD, for the Discoverer satellite system,
was responsible for construction of pads and the assembly building to
support the firing of the first Air Force research and development
satellite. Col Riepe was the Director of Program 437, the Air Force's
first operational antisatellite system. Col Riepe was credited with
developing many of the basic concepts of space launch and satellite
Dr. Robert M. Salter, Jr., a scientist who specializes
in elementary particle physics and applied physics, has made significant
contributions to America's space program. He has been associated with
such programs as the Kettering Missile project, the MX-770 project,
RAND's Project Feedback, Pied Piper, and CORONA.
Dr. Salter worked with the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company as
Manager of the Satellite Branch. During that assignment, he devised a
list of military defense missions attainable by satellites: infrared
missile detection; nuclear detonation detection; film recovery; special
electronic intelligence; and side lobe radar schemes.
Dr. Salter also was involved in the CORONA project and worked on second source ICBM parametric design studies.
Dr. Salter continued his work on the development of U.S. defense
technology through the 1980s and into the 1990s, contributing to efforts
such as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and other programs
including free electron lasers, fusion power, electric guns, underground
high speed trains, electron beam weapons, underwater autonomous
sensors, and an ultra lightweight fission reactor designed for use in
the antiballistic missile (ABM) program as well as future interplanetary
missions to Mars. During the 1980s, he also revisited the world of
reconnaissance satellites as a consultant with ITEK.