Frederick Ordway Dies; Worked on Apollo Program, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

by

WASHINGTON — Frederick Ordway, who worked on NASA’s Apollo program and served as a technical adviser on the film classic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” died July 1 in Huntsville, Alabama, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville announced.

He was 87. No cause of death was given.

Educated as a scientist at Harvard University and at schools in Paris and elsewhere, Mr. Ordway wrote more than 30 books and contributed to more than 300 scientific articles, according to the Space & Rocket Center, a state-funded museum dedicated to showcasing the work of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and U.S. Army Missile Command, which are co-located in Huntsville.

Mr. Ordway worked with Marshall Director Wernher von Braun on the Apollo program in a management role before taking a two-year-plus leave of absence to consult on “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the Stanley Kubrick classic that was based on the Arthur C. Clarke’s novel with the same name, according to Roger Launius, a space historian and curator with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington. He became famous primarily as an author and lecturer, in addition to his work on the movie, Launius said via email.

In his latest project, Mr. Ordway was working on an exhibit at the Space & Rocket Center on “2001: A Space Odyssey.” He was the longest-serving member of the American Rocket Society and the winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation’s 2013 lifetime achievement award.