Chris Gainor

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Chris Gainor
Nationality Canadian
Education Ph.D., Master of Science and a Bachelor of Arts
Occupation historian

Chris Gainor is a historian of technology specializing in space exploration and aeronautics. He has written four books on the history of space exploration and on the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, a jet interceptor aircraft canceled by the Canadian government in 1959.

Gainor is currently writing a history of the Hubble Space Telescope as part of a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.[1][2]

He is editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly.[3]

Gainor holds a Ph.D. in the history of technology from the University of Alberta, and has worked as a history instructor in the University of Victoria's history department and as an Assistant Professor for the Royal Military College of Canada.[4]

Earlier in his career, Gainor worked as a reporter for the Vancouver Sun, where he won a National Newspaper Award [5] for a series on Canadian cancer activist Terry Fox. He also has worked and written for several other publications, and worked for governmental and non-governmental organizations. He is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and is currently First Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.[6]

His first book, Arrows to the Moon, tells the story of the 32 British and Canadian aerospace engineers who went to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1959 after losing their jobs when the Canadian government cancelled the Avro Arrow. Many of these engineers went on to hold top positions in NASA, including Jim Chamberlin, John Hodge, Owen Maynard, and Tecwyn Roberts.[7] He returned to the history of the Avro Arrow with his book Who Killed the Avro Arrow?[8]

Gainor's more recent academic work has concentrated on the history of missile and space programs in the first years after World War II, including his book To A Distant Day: The Rocket Pioneers and his Ph.D. dissertation, which discusses how the U.S. Air Force decided to build its first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Atlas missile.[9] He also writes about the history of the Canadian space program, including his book Canada in Space.[10]


  • Arrows to the Moon: Avro's Engineers and the Space Race (2001) Apogee Books[11]
  • Canada in Space: The People & Stories Behind Canada's Role in the Exploration of Space (2006) Folklore Publishing[12]
  • Who killed the Avro Arrow? (2007) Folklore Publishing[13]
  • To a Distant Day: The Rocket Pioneers (2008) University of Nebraska Press [14]