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Chester M. Lee
Captain, United States Navy
 
Retired Navy Captain Chester Lee, who was mission director on the NASA teams that launched six Apollo moon missions including Apollo 13, has died at Washington hospital from complications following open heart surgery. He was 80.

Lee died February 23, 2000, at the Washington Hospital Center.

At his death, Lee was a special adviser to Spacehab, a Washington-based company that provides services to NASA. He also helped develop the pressurized modules used by astronauts to conduct experiments in space.
 

CM Lee PHOTO
      
  In 1965, after retiring from the Navy, Lee began a 23-year NASA career, largely with the Apollo program but also as program director of the first joint space venture between the United States and the former Soviet Union, the 1973-75 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

He was mission director for the last six Apollo launchings, including the tense Apollo 13 mission, which returned to Earth after an oxygen tank exploded in mid-flight.

Lee, the son of Italian immigrants, was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1942.

After radar training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he entered the World War 2 fleet as gunnery officer on the destroyer USS Drexler. Japanese kamikaze pilots attacked and sank the Drexler with a loss of 158 officers and men. Lee was among 52 survivors.

After the war Lee trained in missile systems and participated in the Navy's development of the Polaris missile. He was also the commander of the destroyer Gyatt.

Lee oversaw the Apollo-Soyuz mission, in which Soviet and American astronauts docked in space in 1975. Soon after, he began working in NASA's shuttle operations when they were expanded to include foreign governments and corporations and finally left the space agency in 1987.

Lee is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.


LEE, CHESTER M
CAPT   US NAVY
WORLD WAR II, KOREA, VIETNAM
DATE OF BIRTH: 04/06/1919
DATE OF DEATH: 02/23/2000
BURIED AT: SECTION 11  SITE 520-B 
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Posted: 28 June  2007
 . US Naval Academy SEAL
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) SEAL