Stanley Dobren, 92, a beloved uncle and pioneering aerospace engineer died on Friday, Nov. 18. Born in West Philadelphia, Stan graduated in 1948 from West Philadelphia High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Drexel University and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1954 Stan went to work at RCA working on experimental improvements to TV and radar systems. He later transferred to the RCA Astro Electronics Aero Space division where he served as senior development and lead engineer, developing the camera system for NASA’s Ranger program. On July 31, 1964, Ranger 7 became the first U.S. space probe to successfully transmit high-resolution, close-up images of the lunar surface back to Earth in preparation for future unmanned and manned space projects.
Stan continued his career at Lockheed Martin where he was instrumental in the development of TIROS (Television Infrared Observation Satellite), the world’s first weather satellite. TIROS allowed forecasters and scientists to see directly for the first time the large-scale features of the planet’s weather systems.
After his retirement, Stan volunteered at the KleinLife Center in Northeast Philadelphia, where he served as treasurer and volunteered teaching computer classes for members of the community.
In a life complete with many successes, his greatest achievement was being a humble, loving, kind, and generous person to his family and all that had the privilege to know him. He is survived by his nephew, Geoffrey Dobren, and niece Janice (Caplan) Wigman; his great nieces and nephews, and their children. He is predeceased by his parents, Morris and Molly Dobren, brother, Lester Dobren, and sister, Gertrude (Dobren) Caplan.