Dr. Raymond Bernard Gavert passed away on March 25, 2013. In 2006 he retired from NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. He was involved with the Wake Shield and Space Shuttle materials experimentations in microgravity. He was an enthusiast of space science and exploration. In retirement he remained active as an author. He wrote "Robots, Colonauts, Moon Clubs and the Strange Lights on the Moon". This science fiction novel reflected his American Institute of Physics papers, which discussed lunar colonization, market driven space exploration, and commercial markets in space.
Dr. Gavert was born Sept 27, 1932 in Jamestown NY. He received his B.S. in metallurgical engineering from Purdue University in 1955 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1960 and 1966 respectively from the University of Wisconsin. He served in the US Army in Korea from 1955 to 1957.
From 1957 to 1959 he was a Pratt & Whitney Aircraft metallurgical development engineer. After that he was involved in advanced nuclear systems at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, OH. He joined the General Electric Missile and Space Division in King of Prussia, Pa., in 1965 as a spacecraft materials research and development engineer. From 1966 until 1968 he was a materials project engineer for the SNAP 27 radioisotope thermoelectric generator used in the Apollo space program. One of these devices is on display at the Smithsonian. During this period he taught Solid State Metallurgy at Penn State in King of Prussia. From 1969 to 1975 he worked at GE Corporate in Schenectady, NY. Dr. Gavert was appointed to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment in 1975 to support US materials policy decisions related to the conservation of materials. He was an early proponent of hybrid vehicle technology. During the 1980's he was involved with SDI "Star Wars" at the Defense Nuclear Agency.
Dr. Gavert is survived by his wife of 53 years Cynthia F. Gavert; daughter Wendy E. Gavert; son William B. and his wife Evelyn Gavert; grandsons Christopher Leonowicz and Thomas Gavert; granddaughters Caitlin Leonowizc, Olivia and Eva Gavert; sisters Marilyn G. McElhinny, Onnolee Samuelson and her fiancé, Jim Murphy, and Darlene McIntyre and her husband, Brian; niece Jill K. Mondo and her husband, Craig
He was full of life and an avid learner with many interests. He enjoyed acting in plays, learning new languages, skiing, singing and playing piano. He always encouraged his children and grandchildren to pursue their interests. He will be greatly missed. Funeral arrangements are by the Domaine Funeral Home in Alexandria VA. Wake is from 6:00pm to 8:00pm April 1 and the Domaine Funeral Home An 11:00 service will be held on April 2 at Aldersgate Church, 1301 Collingwood Drive, Alexandria, VA.