Became Chief of the Engine Installation Division and the wind tunnel’s research program at the NACA Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory in 1943.
Directed research in the propulsion aerodynamics of both reciprocating and early turbojet aircraft engines, resulting in major improvements to the performance of military aircraft.
Joined the NACA High-Speed Panel in 1944 and advocated building a supersonic wind tunnel in Cleveland. He was responsible for the conception, design, and construction of the nation’s first supersonic propulsion wind tunnel
Appointed Associate Director of the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in 1952.
Helped plan the organization and programs of NASA, then named the organization’s Director of Space Flight Programs.
Was integral to planning and directing the nation’s satellite programs and its first manned space flight missions. He named both Project Mercury and the Apollo program.
Served as acting director of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
Chaired the seven-man “Saturn Vehicle Evaluation Committee,” known unofficially as the Silverstein Committee, in 1959. This would be the first practical application of the liquid hydrogen engine, named Centaur.
Aided in the Centaur program which would send the Surveyor to the Moon, the Viking to Mars, the Pioneer to Jupiter and Saturn, and Voyager to Uranus and Neptune.
Recognized by his peers and astronauts as “the architect of America’s space program.”