Edward (Mack) McClung Henderson, 84, a longtime resident of Dickinson, Texas, passed from this life on March 18, 2023. Mack was born to parents, Hunter Harvey Henderson and Marion Dillard Henderson on August 21, 1938 in Salem, Virginia.
Mack graduated from Virginia Polytechnical Institute (VPI) aka Virginia Tech with a BS in Aerospace Engineering. Mack was a co-op at the US Army Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama before starting a 50-year career at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Mack worked in Mission Planning and Analysis for the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs.
During his time in the Space Shuttle Program Mack served as the abort subsystem design manager and as a Flight Design Manager, he led the integration of shuttle design for the first Spacelab mission. Mack later headed the ascent and entry flight design group for the Shuttle Program.
Mack worked in the Flight Directors Office, where he was responsible for Space Shuttle and International Space Station Program mission operation integration. He managed the SPAN (mission control’s spacecraft analysis room) for more than 50 shuttle flights. Mack moved to the Shuttle Program office in 1990. While in the program office, he helped set up the Space Shuttle Development Office that over saw major shuttle upgrade projects, critical in keeping the Shuttle operational. Mack led a technical team on improvements for shuttle derived launch vehicles, significantly increasing performance at a reduced cost. Once NASA announced its new vision for space exploration and the retirement of the Space Shuttle, Mack helped set up the transition team responsible for safely ending the program. Mack’s final assignment was to apply Shuttle applications to reduce risks and operational cost of future NASA programs.
Thru the years, Mack received several prestigious awards including: two NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1983, 2007), AIAA Aerospace Maintenance Award (2001), AIAA Associate Fellow (2010) and the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (2011).
He was a faithful Christian. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Dickinson, where he served in several lay ministries including Stephen Ministry, Agape Sunday School for 20+ years and served several church leadership roles.
As a resident of Dickinson for 58 years, Mack was involved in numerous community events/activities such as a coach and board member for Dickinson Little League baseball. Mack helped start the first Little League Football Team in Dickinson (Vikings) where he served in several board positions. Mack was also a member of the Lions Club where he served a term as President.
Mack is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Rick Woodson.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory, his devoted wife, Dianne Henderson; son, David Henderson and wife, Lucy; two grandsons, Hunter Henderson and Nathaniel Henderson; nieces Pam McKenzie, Jan McKenzie, Sally Woodson, Suzie Williams and nephew Steve McKenzie in addition to many friends.
A service was held on Tuesday, March 28 at Dickinson First United Methodist Church, 200 FM 517 Rd. W. in Dickinson, Texas.
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