John Harlow MBE – In Memoriam

The British Interplanetary Society is deeply saddened to announce that John Harlow passed away in his sleep on Saturday 11/11/2023.

John did so much for The Society over so many years, including two tours as President in the early 2000s, and he continued to support us at many of our events and activities until his death.

John helped organise our Cosford Conference, in July, using his wealth of knowledge of propulsion and launch systems, and his many contacts, to help put together a fascinating two-day programme.

He was also Chair of the West Midlands BIS branch and was keen to see more BIS branches established.

John had a very interesting career, being fortunate in spending much of his time heavily involved in the technical aspects of rocketry. Having cut his teeth on Polaris, John went on to work on both launchers and other re-entry systems. He worked for and/or with the MoD, Hunting Engineering, PERME (Propellants, Explosives and Rocket Motors Establishment) Westcott (formally RPE) Westcott and Summerfield the, Foreign Office and United Nations and this took him to most satellite Prime Contractors and launch facilities around the world.

John provided the Society with a clear link to the International Space Industry in his consultancy with Aerojet Rocketdyne and in representing the BIS on the History Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He was always charming and a delight to work with, and for. John encouraged many long-term Members and Fellows to initially join the BIS and has been a proactive volunteer throughout his life.

The British Interplanetary Society sends its sincerest condolences to John’s family and friends at this sad time.

John will be sorely missed by us all, but will be long remembered.