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DR. WILLIAM H. PICKERING William Hayward Pickering ONZ KBE (24 December 1910 Ã¢â‚¬â€ 15 March 2004) was a New Zealand born rocket scientist who headed Pasadena, California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for 22 years, retiring in 1976. He was a senior NASA luminary and pioneered the exploration of space.Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Pickering attended Havelock School, Marlborough, and Wellington College. After spending one year at Canterbury University College he completed his bachelor's degree at the California Institute of Technology and completed a PhD in physics in 1936. His specialty was in electrical engineering and he concentrated on what is now telemetry.(WIKIPEDIA)