Desmond George King-Hele (born 3 Nov 1927 at Seaford in Sussex) is a British physicist and author. In 1957, together with Doreen Gilmour, and as part of the Guided Weapons department of Royal Aircraft Establishment, he wrote a report proposing the use of the Blue Streak missile and Black Knight as a satellite launcher. See also Blue Streak Satellite Launch Vehicle.
He joined the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough in 1948 and stayed there until 1988, researching the earth's gravity field and upper atmosphere by analysis of satellite orbits. He was awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1971 for his work on the geophysical application of the study of the orbits of artificial satellites. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in March 1966.
He married Marie Newman in 1954; they had two daughters.
He is the author of A Tapestry of Orbits, Observing Earth Satellites, Satellites and Scientific Research, Theory of Satellite Orbits in an Atmosphere, Shelley: His Thought and Work, Doctor of Revolution and Erasmus Darwin: A Life of Unequalled Achievement. He is also the author of two books of poetry.
- Merchant, Paul (15 March 2010). "NATIONAL LIFE STORIES AN ORAL HISTORY OF BRITISH SCIENCE Desmond King-Hele Interviewed by Dr Paul Merchant". British Library. Retrieved 7 November 2012. "recommended me for a special scholarship to Epsom College, the large public school on the eastern outskirts of Epsom, and the college headmaster had agreed this."
- "Fellows". The Royal Society. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- Text of the award speech
- Early plans for a Blue Streak-based satellite launcher
- Listen to an oral history interview with Desmond King-Hele - a life story interview recorded for An Oral History of British Science at the British Library
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