(19 Oct 1924 - 24 Feb 2003)
American space scientist and mathematician at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where his skill at making difficult science understandable made him their spokesman for their projects, beginning with the launch of Explorer 1 (31 Jan 1958). He also narrated the NBC series “Exploring” a Saturday morning childrens’ educational show, for four years, among other media contributions. He became director at JPL and retired in 1986.
Science Quotes by Albert Hibbs (2 quotes)
[Richard Feynman] would be standing in front of the hall smiling at us all as we came in, his fingers tapping out a complicated rhythm on the black top of the demonstration bench that crossed the front of the lecture hall. As latecomers took their seats, he picked up the chalk and began spinning it rapidly through his fingers in a manner of a professional gambler playing with a poker chip, still smiling happily as if at some secret joke. And then—still smiling—he talked to us about physics, his diagrams and equations helping us to share his understanding. It was no secret joke that brought the smile and the sparkle in his eye, it was physics. The joy of physics!
— Albert Hibbs
Describing his experience as a student attending Feynman lectures, in Introduction to Richard P. Feynman Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! : Adventures of a Curious Character (1986, 2010), 9-10.
Even though I didn't make it to the moon, my machines did.
— Albert Hibbs
As quoted in Myrna Oliver, 'Obituary: Albert Hibbs, 78; JPL Scientist, Voice of Unmanned Missions', Los Angeles Times (27 Feb 2003) repeating the statement previously published in 2001. Hibbs referred to the Ranger and Surveyor spacecrafts for which he was a systems designer. He had passed physical and psychological testing as a candidate to be an astronaut, but the Apollo moon-landing program was canceled before he was placed for a flight.