Computers in Spaceflight: The NASA
- [xi] No author can
fool himself into thinking that his work is entirely of his own
making. In a project of this size and length, many people, both
within NASA and outside it, contributed mightily or it would never
have been either finished or of its present quality.
- In the NASA History Office, Sylvia D.
Fries as Director was a great help not only in accommodating
several schedule changes but in actively critiquing early
chapters. Her best management decision was assigning Michal
McMahon as the editor. He treated the volume as his own and spent
many hours turning turgidity into something resembling smooth
text. Monte Wright, former Director, is to be thanked for granting
the contract in the first place, and Edward C. Ezell, for his help
in Houston during the proposal phase when he was head of the
History Office at the Johnson Space Center.
- At The Wichita State University, my
department chair, Mary Edgington, tried to keep excessive demands
from overwhelming me during the 3 years I was funded under the
contract. Lawrence Smith of the research office took care of the
paperwork. Five assistants helped at one time or another in the
research or writing phase. Dana Hamit acted as keeper of the
bibliography for a year, and created the initial data bases I used
while writing. Kim Allen took over from her and prepared the final
version of the notes from the first three chapters, as well as
acting as first editor. Linda Manfull brought the bibliographic
data base into final shape and did the notes for Chapter Four.
Maria Dreisziger helped with the notes for Chapters Five and Six,
and identified terms for the glossary. Tamera Klausmeyer typed the
notes for Chapters Seven through Nine, as well as finishing
identifying terms for the glossary.
- In my travels during the research phase I
was privileged to meet and work with a large number of NASA and
contractor personnel. Those listed in the bibliographic note as
granting interviews usually shared rare materials from their files
as well. Some were asked to do technical reviews of individual
chapters or sections of chapters to help eliminate as many errors
of fact and interpretation as possible. Those who did this double
duty included Bill Bailey, Ed Blizzard, Frank Byrne, Bill Chubb,
Sam Deese, Dwain Deets, Bob Ernull, Jack Garman, Ray Hartenstein,
Helmut Hoelzer, Carl Johnson, Ted Kopf, Ken Mansfield, Russ
Mattox, Ann Merwarth, Bob Nathan, Henry Paul, Dick Rice, Bill
Stewart, Tom Taylor, Bill Tindall, Chuck Trevathan, Paul
Westmoreland, John Wooddell, and John Young.
- At each site individuals opened doors for
me and found office space where none was available. I want to
especially thank Wanda Thrower of Johnson Space Center, Bob
Sheppard of Marshall [xii] Flight Center,
Harriet Brown and Mike Konjevich of Kennedy Space Center, and
Andrew Danni of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for their
hospitality. Frank Penovich of Kennedy was especially helpful in
obtaining a tour of the Shuttle facilities.
- After the termination of the actual
contract, I spent a year and a half at the Software Engineering
Institute (SKI) located at CarnegieMellon University. The SKI was
kind enough to permit use of their equipment to assist in
preparing the final drafts of the manuscript. My assistants
Katherine Harvey and Suzanne Woolf did yeoman work editing and
formatting the text for laser printing.
- My thanks also goes to my wife, who
lovingly never let me give up.
- A final, required, word from our sponsor:
This work was mostly done under NASA Contract NASW-37 14.