A mechanical engineer who helped open the space frontier to human exploration, Beauford Franklin was one of the entrepreneurs who founded the original Celestis Group in the 1980s.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mr. Franklin served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, participating in the Italian peninsula and North African campaigns. He moved to Florida in the 1950s and joined the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. While at Lockheed, he was a member of the Navy Polaris missile program team. He also worked on the U.S. Air Force Titan IIIC rocket program in the early 1960s at United Technologies Corporation. He served as base manager until 1977.
Mr. Franklin then joined NASA's first space shuttle launch contractor team, serving as the first base manager for U.S. Boosters, Inc., at the Kennedy Space Center.
"Man looks aloft, and with erected eyes
Beholds his hereditary skies."
- Ovid, Roman poet