Daniel Warren Benedict, age 62, died at the Huntsville Hospital on 19 January 2021, due to complications resulting from Covid-19.
Survivors include his devoted wife, Karin, loving daughter, Alyxandra, and brother, Scott (Pey) Benedict, as well as many relatives from the Benedict, Miller and King families. Daniel will be cremated so that his ashes may be interred with military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, in San Antonio, Texas on Veteran’s Day 2021.
He is a veteran officer of the USAF (1980-2002). He served honorably in the USAF, achieving the rank of Major. His final contractor assignment was at PeopleTec (2015-21).
Daniel served in many different roles throughout his USAF and contractor career working on programs and capabilities that have had lasting impacts on the defense of our country. He served as a contracts officer, project manager, aerospace engineer, systems engineer and analyst.
His first assignment as an officer in the USAF was to serve in the Titan Program Office in Los Angeles as the lead engineer responsible for evaluating booster mission readiness of the sixth Titan IV launch. At the time, the Titan IV rocket was the largest and most capable expendable launch vehicle used by the USAF. This booster system was designed and built specifically to launch classified payloads for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). On the historic mission Dan was supporting, a KH-11 satellite that successfully launched earlier than originally planned, from Vandenberg AFB, and placed into orbit providing the United States with an invaluable real-time optical observation capability.
He supported sensitive breakthrough negotiations with the U.S. State Department between Russian, Norwegian, and U.S. companies for the Boeing commercial Sea Launch Program that launched payloads from a ship platform on the equator. This successful program launched 32 rockets/payloads into geostationary orbits that included communications satellites for EchoStar, DirecTV, and XM Satellite Radio.
He was a true expert and passionate user/instructor of the Systems Tool Kit (STK), a physics-based software package that enables analysts to perform complex analyses of ground, sea, air, and space platforms with multi-dimensional views. Dan applied his expertise to create unique visual perspectives to enable effective risk reduction assessments for Ground-Based Missile Defense Flight Test planning and post event analysis; and to assess complex algorithms that simultaneously track air, ballistic missile and cruise missile threats for Integrated Air and Missile Defense applications.
Daniel was a person of high character and gifted intelligence, gladly willing to help others, and always making a difference wherever he was and in whatever activity he was doing. All of his family, friends and colleagues will miss him.
No services are planned at this time.