Full name: Maxime (Max) A. Faget (pronouced Fahjay). Born August 26, 1921 in Stam Creek, British Honduras.
Another little known genius of America's manned space program, Faget is responsible for the characteristic blunt nosed shape of the capsules used in the Mercury Project, Gemini Project and Apollo Project.
Faget joined NASA's predeccesor NACA in Langley, Virginia in 1946. He was tapped by Bob Gilruth to be one of the founder members of the Space Task Group in 1958, which formed the core of the American manned space program.
When coming up with the Mercury project spacecraft Faget was instrumental in choosing a then counterintutive approach to dealing with the problems of re-entry; that a cone with its blunt end forward (a very unaerodynamic looking position), and equipped with an ablative heat shield, would both slow the re-entering capsule down and by charring would carry excess heat away from the capsule, preventing the astronaut inside from being fried.
He also was critical in developing the prelimary designs for the Apollo project and Space Shuttle spacecraft and to a much lesser extent the Gemini project spacecraft
Among many other innovations, Faget also developed the tractor rocket escape tower concept used in the Mercury project and Apollo project and later adopted (and still used) for the Russion Soyuz and Chinese Shenzhou manned spacecraft.
Sometimes dubbed "the American Korolev (Sergei Pavlovich Korolev)," (after the architect of the early Soviet space program), in 1995, two Russian cosmonauts thanked Faget personally for his escape tower design which had saved their lives in a pad fire in 1983.