Griffith graduated from Fieldale High School
in 1957. He went on to the University of Virginia where
he earned Bachelor and Master degrees in Aeronautical
Engineering in 1961 and 1963. While at UVA Doug was elected to the Tau Beta Pi Honor Engineering Society
and the The Society of the Sigma Xi Honor Science Society.
Early on Doug knew he wanted to work
in the missile and space vehicle field after college,
becoming the Quin-essential "Rocket Scientist".
He move to California in 1963 and worked at Lockheed
Martin from 1963 to 1974. That position included various
Intercontinental missile programs, the NASA Skylab Project(Manned
Space Laboratory) and Viking Project(Space Mission to
Mars). These assignments took him from California to
Colorado, Texas and back to California with the Viking
Mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL).
In 1974, Doug hired
on at JPL(Jet Propulsion Laboratory) to work on space
missions to the planets. He would stay there 28 years.
While at JPL he started on Viking and then spent 15
years on the Voyager mission which sent spacecraft to
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. He held various
positions on Voyager including Spacecraft Test Chief,
Operations Manager, Deputy Mission Director and Neptune
Encounter Preparations Manager. He received two NASA
Medals for service on Voyager including the Exceptional
Service Medal and the Outstanding Leadership Medal.
After Voyager, Doug spent 6 years on the Magellan Mission to Venus in the
positions of Mission Director and Project Manager. While
on Magellan he received two NASA Medals for service
including the Exceptional Service Medal and Exceptional
Achievement Medal. During that period in 1993, he was
also a recipient of the Aviation Week & Space Technology
1993 Laurels Award for Outstanding Achievement in the
Field of Space/Missiles. Doug was the
final Magellan Project Manager which included closing
out the mission in 1995. This was one of his more difficult
jobs since it meant finding new work for all remaining
After Magellan, Doug worked as Deputy Director of the Plans & Commitments
Division in the Deep Space Network(DSN) Directorate
at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This effort over the next
seven years until retirement took him farther afield
in space missions. He managed Deep Space Network support
effort for space missions to all the nine planets, and
various Earth Science missions. Being that so many missions
were involved with DSN support, it was a great challenge
as all efforts had to be supported simultaneously. Doug enjoyed working with the many space projects and various
foreign space agencies.
Doug retired in 2002
and really enjoyed the years at JPL. He has continued
in a consulting role to various missions. Since retirement, Doug has been called on to share his
broad space experience on many mission review boards.
On the personal level, Doug married Carolyn Haynes of Martinsville in 1961. They
continue to live in California. He has one daughter
and one grandson whom he visits often in Albuquerque,
NM. He is the son of Carl and Elsie Griffith and has
one sister Edna.
View early photos of Doug HERE.