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Caltech community knew Qian Xuesen as Tsien Hsue-shen

November 3, 2009 | 12:45 pm


Our Sunday story about Qian Xuesen, a rocket scientist who studied under Professor Theodore von Karman at Caltech in the 1930s and then returned to the university in 1949 as an instructor and researcher, has brought an outpouring of response from those who knew him as Tsien Hsue-shen. The Chinese born aeronautical engineer, who died Oct. 31 in Beijing, was deported in 1955 during a time of anti-communist fervor in the United States and five years after he was accused of belonging to a subversive organization. He went on to become known as the father of China's space and missile programs.

Qian was named a distinguished alumni of Caltech in 1979. A colleague of his, Frank E. Marble, reviewed his memories of the man he knew as Tsien Hsue-shen in 2002 in a Caltech publication, as well as in an oral history the university conducted in the 1990s.

We'd like to hear from our readers who worked with Qian Xuesen/Tsien Hsue-shen or knew him during his time in Southern California.

-- Claire Noland

Photo: Mourners gather in Beijing on Monday to pay their respects to Qian Xuesen. Credit: AFP / Getty Images