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Space pioneer Lowell Randall, shown here in his Las Cruces workshop in 1954,... (Courtesy photo)
LAS CRUCES - Lowell Randall, described by his friend and biographer Joe Gold of Las Cruces, as "the last surviving member of a team of great pioneer rocket scientists who launched the U.S. space program," died Tuesday at Good Samaritan Las Cruces Village, Home Health Center. He was 96.
A contemporary and New Mexico colleague of legendary rocketry pioneer Robert Goddard and Pluto's discoverer Clyde Tombaugh, Randall's career at a rocket engineer stretched from the 1930s through World War II and late 20th century space program research, and included duty as chief test engineer with the U.S. Naval Research Station at Annapolis, Md., and work with corporate and governmental programs throughout the U.S. to develop and test cutting-edge technology for a series of rockets, aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles, before his 1978 retirement from White Sands Missile Range.