Named in honour of Bryan Erb (b. 1931-04-12 in Calgary, Canada,) and Dona Marie Erb (née German, b. in Calgary, Canada), friends of the discoverer. Bryan studied at the University of Alberta and at Cranfield in the U.K. He joined Avro Canada in 1955, where he conducted aerothermodynamic analysis on the Arrow. During Project Mercury, he predicted the performance of the heatshield, and in 1960 became a member of the 8-person advanced vehicles team that laid the foundations for Apollo. Later he managed the development of the Apollo heatshield and oversaw that of other Apollo subsystems. After spending a year at MIT on a Sloan Fellowship, Erb became deputy manager and then manager of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. He joined NASA's remote sensing program in 1971, and later became Chief of the Earth Observations Division. After retiring from NASA in 1985 and working as a consultant, Erb became Canada's representative in Houston and Assistant Director of the Canadian Space Station Program. He later became manager of the Canadian Space Power Initiative and is now involved in promoting space solar power systems. Dona graduated in education at the University of Alberta, worked as a mathematics teacher, and lectured in computer science at the University of Houston until the early 1970s, when she began work as a computer programmer and manager working for Lockheed on the Shuttle Program and later for The MITRE Corporation, from which she retired as Lead Scientist in 1993. The Erbs, who were married in 1955, played an important role in generating the discoverer's interest in space physics.
References: MPC 25654; MPC 26599