Stephen C. Traugott, retired Martin Marietta aeronautical engineer who worked on space missions, dies

Stephen C. Traugott, a retired Martin Marietta Inc. aeronautical engineer whose work began with the Project Mercury missions and ended with the Space Shuttle, died July 16 at Alexandria Inova Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, of complications from a fall. The Glen Arm resident was 93.

Stephen Charles Traugott, son of Dr. Carl Traugott, a physician, and his wife, Elizabeth Demmer Traugott, a homemaker, was born in Frankfurt, Germany.


With the rise of Nazism and because his father was Jewish, his family was able to obtain visas and left Germany in 1938 for Zurich, where they lived for a year, before emigrating to Baltimore in 1939. The family lived first in the Lombardy Apartments and later moved to a home on East Belvedere Avenue.

Mr. Traugott was a 1945 graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and four years later earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering, where he had been a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. In 1957, he obtained a doctorate of engineering , also from Hopkins.


In the late 1950s, he began working for what was the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River and later moved to the company’s Research Institute for Advanced Studies in Catonsville after the company had become Martin Marietta Inc.

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His main work was fluid dynamics of fuel, beginning with the Project Mercury missions and ending with the Space Shuttle. He wrote numerous technical papers and received several patents while at Martin Marietta. In 1962, he was nominated as one of Maryland’s Outstanding Scientists of the Year.

Mr. Traugott was a member of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society, the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics.

After retiring in 1986 from Martin Marietta, he took a position with the National Science Foundation evaluating grant proposals until 1994 when he retired for a second time.

In his retirement, he became an avid oil painter, and took many trips to Europe, New England and the Eastern Shore with his wife, the former Helen Younghans, a Reliable Stores commercial artist. They shared a passion for plein-air painting, and the couple’s artwork was displayed at galleries in Maryland and Delaware. He also enjoyed spending time at a second home he owned in Dewey Beach, Delaware.

Mr. Traugott moved to Alexandria in 2020 to be near his daughter. His wife of 57 years died in 2013.

A memorial service is private.

He is survived by a son, Philip Traugott of Santa Fe, New Mexico; a daughter, Meredith Selby of Alexandria; and a grandson.