Reginald Turnill 1915-2013

It is with very great sadness that the BIS reports the death of one of Britain’s outstanding space journalists. Broadcaster, writer, author, founder of Jane’s Space Directory, winner of the 2006 Sir Arthur Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award and a great friend of the Society, Reg Turnill was one of a small, elite band of professional space journalists whose broadcasts did so much to inform, educate and inspire successive generations of enthusiasts, listeners and viewers.

Reg began his career as a journalist in 1930, working as a reporter’s telephonist at the Press Association before he moved to the BBC in 1956 as an assistant industrial correspondent. Within two years he had become the BBC’s air and space correspondent and thus began a lifelong association with aviation and, more especially, the nascent space programme.

Covering everything from early rocket trials before NASA began, to interviewing Moon-bound Apollo astronauts, meeting Wernher von Braun and leading space officials, Reg Turnill became the measured information outlet to millions of people around the world, tuning in to the BBC as their source for objective information about space activities, be those conducted by the United States or the Soviet Union and, later, the European Space Agency.

Spaceflight will carry a full obituary in its next issue, out early March, and a later edition will carry the transcript of a conversation with Reg conducted at his home in June 2012. The BIS extends condolences to his wife Margaret and to his sons Graham and Michael.

The Editor (Spaceflight)

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