TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Lawrence Jones was a research chemist working for Commercial Solvents when the rocket fuel for the Apollo 11 launch was being developed.
According to his son, Larry Jones, his father worked closely with NASA and Werner Von Braun to stabilize nitroparaffins, a type of rocket fuel, into liquid form for long term space flight.
Without a stabilized liquid fuel, travel to the Moon would be impossible. Lawrence Jones received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office for his Nitroparaffin Containing Stabilizer on May 9, 1967.
The stabilized fuel allowed NASA to continue with its quest to put a man on the Moon. Jones’ work was top secret at the time and he only received one dollar for the patent due to a contract he had signed with Commercial Solvents.
While the Jones family did not enjoy recognition or financial reward from Lawrence Jones’ important contribution to the success of the Apollo 11 Moon Mission 50 years ago, Larry Jones says his family was proud to know they were a part the historic event.