Jim Richard Bates died on October 13, 2023 at the age of 83.
Jim’s NASA career began in June of 1962 at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston and culminated in his retirement from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in June 2004.
Jim was involved in some capacity in every space mission beginning with Wally Schirra’s Mercury mission. He worked flight control positions during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. He headed a team that monitored the Lunar experiments until that program was closed. During Gemini, Jim developed an interest in in-flight experiments and helped set up and worked the experiments console in the control center. This interest became a career long advocacy. He was instrumental in getting the IMAX cameras flown on the Space Shuttle and in the launch and repair of the Hubble telescope. He led ad hoc teams for such projects as research and improving weather forecasting for missions after the Challenger accident. Jim acted as a Flight Integration Manager for many Shuttle flights and advocated for numerous experiments that flew on those missions. He did research and advocacy for experiments on the ISS and ended his career as the NASA Project Manager for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) that now is functioning on the ISS.