Gene Simmons

Professor Emeritus

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Geophysicist and author of geology and rock physics texts who played a key science role during the NASA Apollo program.

Geophysicist Gene Simmons earned his BS in electrical engineering in 1949 from Texas A&M College, and an MS in Geology, with a minor in physics, from Southern Methodist University in 1958. He went on to pursue his PhD (1962) and postdoctoral studies at Harvard. Simmons joined the MIT faculty in 1965. In October 1969, after only 4 years at MIT, Simmons was named Chief Scientist of the NASA Manned Space Center during the final three Apollo missions—where he authored a series of popular mission guides (titled On the Moon with Apollo 15, 16, and 17, respectively) for the public to follow along as the astronauts conducted their science; the books sold copies in the hundreds of thousands.

He left NASA to return to MIT, before retiring in 1989 to become Vice President of Hager-Richter Geoscience Inc.