Stapp, John Paul

Stapp, John Paul

(1910–  ) aviation physician; born in Salvador, Brazil. The son of American missionary parents, he earned a Ph.D. in biophysics (1939) and a medical degree (1943) before joining the army medical corps, where he began a life's work of research into the limits of human endurance, especially in regard to the physiological effects of high acceleration. As part of his research, he rode a rocket sled to a land speed record of 632 miles per hour in 1954. His work helped speed the manned exploration of space; he served as chief scientist of the Aerospace Medical Team in 1962. Stapp joined the faculty of the University of Southern California after retiring from government service in 1970.