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01/06/2010

Former JPL head Lew Allen Jr. dies at 84

January 6, 2010 | 11:46 am

Lew Allen Jr., a former Air Force chief of staff who headed NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1982 to 1990, has died. He was 84.

The La Cañada Flintridge lab said that Allen died Monday in Potomac Falls, Va. A cause of death was not given.

During his tenure, Allen oversaw the launches of the Magellan spacecraft to Venus and the Galileo mission to Jupiter. He also oversaw the Voyager 2 spacecraft's explorations of Uranus and Neptune and the completion of a sky survey by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite.

Allen entered the Air Force in 1946 and flew bombers out of Carswell Air Force Base in Dallas. He became the 10th chief of staff, retiring in 1982. Allen also held various intelligence positions, including becoming head of the National Security Agency in 1973.

Allen will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

-- Associated Press

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