National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Vol. 14, No. 2 Spring 1997


Oral History Contract Bids Due
Reconsidering Sputnik Symposium
New Monograph Available
Forthcoming NASA History Publications:
-Research in NASA History
-Satellite Communications History
-Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1986-1990
-Stennis Space Center History
-NACA/NASA Collier Trophy Winners
Kudos for NASA History Staff
X-33 Historian On Board
New Equipment for NASA History Office
NASA History on the Internet
Surfing the Internet for Other Aerospace History
More Upcoming NASA History Contracts
Space TimesArticles Solicited
Calls for Papers
SHFG Space Race and NASA Policy Meetings Were Successful
Upcoming Meetings
Selected Recent Aerospace Publications


The NASA History Office plans to award a contract for a historian to conduct oral history interviews with approximately 25 key former NASA officials. The interviews will take place around the country and will be transcribed for use by future researchers. Prospective offerors should submit bids by 4 June 1997. For more information, check or contact the purchasing agent, Diane Harris, at 202-358-0410, 202-358-3080 fax, or via e-mail at


This year marks the fortieth anniversary of Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite, which was launched on 4 October 1957. The NASA History Office, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and George Washington University's Space Policy Institute are pleased to co-sponsor "Reconsidering Sputnik: Forty Years Since the Soviet Satellite," a two day symposium analyzing the importance of this event. This symposium is set to take place in the Smithsonian's Ripley Center in Washington, DC on 30 September-1 October 1997. It will explore the preparations, immediate ramifications, and long term consequences of Sputnik on American and Soviet societies and space programs. Please contact the NASA History Office, Code ZH, Washington, DC 20546, or by telephone at 202-358-0384 if you wish to be placed on a mailing list to be kept informed of symposium preparations.


Women in Flight Research at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center from 1946 to 1995 is our newest monograph in aerospace history. Written by Sheryll Goecke Powers, this monograph tells the story of how a relatively small group of women scientists, engineers, and technicians have influenced key aerospace developments ever since the site was known as the NACA Muroc Flight Test Unit. Containing four informative appendices and many black and white photographs, the monograph is available free of charge from the NASA History Office, Code ZH, Washington, DC 20546 with a 9x12" envelope stamped for 11 ounces.


Research in NASA History: A Guide to the NASA History Program, is set for publication in June 1997. An updated version of an out-of-print edition from 1992, this guide provides researchers with detailed information on the holdings of the NASA Headquarters History Office and the history offices at NASA's 10 Field Centers. We also plan to put this publication on-line.

The next scheduled book in the NASA History Series is Beyond the Ionosphere: The Development of Satellite Communication. This volume, which is edited by Andrew Butrica, contains the official proceedings of the conference of the same title that was held in October 1995. It should be available in late June.

Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1986-1990: Chronology of Science, Technology, and Policy is to appear in late summer. A long-standing reference series of note, this volume continues the classic documentary effort.

Way Station to Space: A History of the John C. Stennis Space Center is also set for publication in late summer. This Field Center history is written by Mack Herring, one of the Center's first employees.

Pamela Mack is the editor for a book on the 19 NACA/NASA projects that have won the prestigious Collier Trophy award. The NACA/NASA Winners of the Robert J. Collier Trophy for Aerospace Research and Development is slated for publication in late 1997.

Each of these books will be available for public acquisition from the Government Printing Office or NASA. Stay tuned for more information as these books are published.


The British Interplanetary Society has awarded its prestigious Dr. Patrick Moore Medal to Lee Saegesser, our esteemed NASA archivist. Lee has provided invaluable assistance to scores of researchers who have come through the NASA History Office in the past 30 years. After flying to London to receive the medal, Lee will give talks on "Jules Verne and the Flight of Apollo 8" and "NASA Does Have a Sense of Humor!"

In addition, Colin Fries and Mark Kahn, our two contract archivists received Certificates of Appreciation from NCI Information Systems, Inc. for their assistance to docents from the National Air and Space Museum. Colin and Mark also were thanked in the Paper Airplane, the museum newsletter.


The X-33 Program Office has brought Andrew J. Butrica on board as the X-33 historian. He will document the revolutionary program's efforts to build a reusable launch vehicle from start to finish by the year 2000. By publishing a book-length history, as well as shorter articles and Web pages, this history project will educate both the general public and policymakers about the importance of the X-33 program. Dr. Butrica welcomes inquiries and comments. He can be reached at 202-358-4593 or via e-mail at


The NASA History recently received three large electronic filing cabinets to help ease our crowded Historical Reference Collection. The archival staff has been busy consolidating and moving over 400 linear feet of records to the new systems. After all the files are moved, Mark Kahn and Colin Fries will update our Inmagic database finding aid to reflect the new locations of these many files. In the short term the office is in disarray, but by the end of the summer researchers undoubtedly will be pleased by the increased accessibility of files.


We have moved our home page to While this address is rather lengthy, this site gives us better control over our files than we had previously.

This summer we plan to give NASA History on the Web a major facelift. We are encouraged by those of you who appreciate the large quantities of information available on our sites, but we also feel it is time to take a look at better organization of these files. We welcome your suggestions. Please send your ideas to Steve Garber at

On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini (NASA SP-4203, 1977) by Barton C. Hacker and James M. Grimwood is now on-line at: This well-received, but long out-of print, book is the essential account of the Gemini program and looks at Gemini's many achievements such as the first spacewalk and the first in-orbit rendezvous of two spacecraft.

Dr. David Williams of the National Space Science Data Center has prepared a Chronology of Lunar and Planetary Exploration, 1957-present. This useful timeline of U.S. and Soviet/Russian robotic and human missions is on-line at

"Historians and Policymakers" is the first in an upcoming series of occasional papers produced by NASA's Office of Policy and Plans. Sylvia K. Kraemer, the Director of Special Studies and former NASA Chief Historian, wrote this interesting article about the interaction between history and policy in government. It is on-line at

Biographical information on early test pilots at the Dryden Flight Research Center has been updated and is now available on the Web at

This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury (NASA SP-4201, 1966) by Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander explores the people and the technology that made Project Mercury possible. It is now on the Web at office/pao/History/SP-4201/cover.htm.

For the upcoming 50th anniversary of the first supersonic flight, the Dryden Flight Research Center has put two useful documents on-line. Go to to view "The X-1 Research Aircraft" or to view the "X-Plane Projects Overview."

NASA's Scientific and Technical Information Program has a useful database of images called the NASA Image Exchange at This user-friendly tool can be searched by keyword or photo number and is connected to several related field center databases.

NASA's Life Sciences Data Archive is now on-line at This site includes a master catalog, an overview of life sciences missions and research, as well as a digital image library.


"Expanding Universe" is a large collection of astronomy links, arranged according to a modified form of the Dewey Decimal Classification. This produces a set of virtual library shelves whose contents can be "browsed" much as you would books in a library. It is available on the World Wide Web at

David Portree has created an annotated bibliography covering lunar and Mars expedition and settlement. It is available on the World Wide Web at

The National Transportation Safety Board's home page is There is information about the Board's history, as well as a detailed compilation of aviation accidents.

Boeing North American's Space Systems Division has put its Space Shuttle press kits on-line at

John Duncan has created a Web site for modelers interested in detailed technical information about the Saturn launch vehicles. It is on-line at


Dependent upon funding allocations, in anticipation of the centennial in 2003 of the first Wright Brothers flight, the NASA History Office is planning a documentary history of NACA/NASA aerodynamics research. A contractor will be selected to research, select, compile, and edit with introductions appropriate historical documents. The contractor should select approximately 250-350 documents, with an emphasis on previously unpublished works, for inclusion in a one or two volume publication. This work could be analogous to the Exploring the Unknown series of documentary histories of the U.S. civilian space program.

The Voyager probe to the outer Solar System during the 1970s and 1980 was enormously successful but has not yet been fully analyzed in historical perspective. We are planning to select a contractor to write a scholarly history of Voyager. The effort will be a three-year firm, fixed-price contract.

The Goddard Space Flight Center anticipates hiring a contractor to produce a small illustrated history of the Center to commemorate its fortieth anniversary in 1998. Stay tuned for more details about this book opportunity.


Space Times, the bimonthly glossy magazine of the American Astronautical Society, seeks feature articles to 2000 words in length. It also publishes shorter op-ed articles of 500 words. These articles should be written in the present tense for a non-scholarly audience on current space policy, science, or technology issues. Please contact Roger D. Launius at for more information.


Graduate students are invited to submit proposals for an interdisciplinary conference on "History and Theory" to be held at the University of California at Irvine on 15-16 November 1997. One page abstracts (with no information identifying the submitter) and accompanying cover letter should be submitted to: History and Theory Conference Steering Committee, History Department, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697. For further information, e-mail Proposals are due 15 July 1997.

The History of Philosophy of Science Working Group will hold its second international conference on 12-15 March 1998. This meeting is organized in cooperation with the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame. Submissions of abstracts of papers of approximately 30 minutes reading length, and full panels of three to four papers are welcome. Abstracts of individual paper submissions should be 250-500 words. Panel proposals should include one panel abstract, names and contact addresses of all participants, and abstracts of 250 words for each of three to four papers. Preferred format for all submissions is plain ASCII text submitted by e-mail to with "HOPOS Submission" in the subject line of the e-mail. Other submissions should include three paper copies and one copy in plain ASCII format on a 3.5" DOS disk and be sent to: Cassandra Pinnick, Department of Philosophy, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101. Conference Registrar: James Maffie, 3280 Sentinel Drive, Boulder, CO 80301, e-mail maffiej@spot. All submissions should arrive by 1 September 1997.

Fortieth Anniversary of NASA

The Florida Historical Quarterly is planning to publish a special issue to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the founding of NASA in 1998. Papers on any aspect of the space industry, particularly its effect on Florida, are welcome. Queries and manuscripts should be addressed to: Dr. Kari Frederickson, Assistant Professor and Editor, Florida Historical Quarterly, Department of History, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816-1350; 407-823-6421; fax 407-823-5156. The deadline for consideration is 1 October 1997.

Journal of Policy History

The Journal of Policy History is issuing a call for papers to be presented at its conference on 15-18 October 1998 in St. Louis, MO. For more information, please write to: Policy Conference, Journal of Policy History, St. Louis University, 221 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. Proposals are due 15 October 1997.

Centennial of Flight Conference

Wright State University is planning a major conference on the first century of aviation/aerospace history for 1-3 October 1998. Conference organizers are seeking individual paper and panel proposals reflecting themes of flight and society, flight and public policy, and flight technology. Please contact the Aviation History Conference, Conferences and Events, Room E180 Student Union, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45434-0001. Paper/panel proposals are due 1 November 1997.


On 3-4 April 1997, the Society for History in the Federal Government (SHFG) held a conference at the National Archives Facility in College Park, MD. The conference included a well-received session, entitled "New Views of the Space Race: U.S./U.S.S.R. Conflict and Cooperation in the Exploration of Space," that was chaired by NASA Chief Historian, Roger D. Launius.

On 7 May 1997, NASA's Office of Policy and Plans held a colloquium at The George Washington University that focused on NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. This well-received meeting was the first in a series that looks at "unresolved" policy questions facing NASA in the next ten years. Stay tuned for the next colloquium, probably this fall.


On 28-29 May 1997, an Air Force History & Museum Program Symposium entitled "Aim High: History of the U.S. Air Force" will be held in Arlington, VA. Contact Jacob Neufeld, AFHSO/HOP, 110 Luke Ave, Ste. 405, Bolling AFB, DC 20332-5113, fax 202-767-5527.

On 29-30 May 1997, Siena College's annual Conference on the Anniversary of World War II will focus on "1937, Beginnings," and "1947, the Aftermath." Contact: Prof. Thomas O. Kelly, Dept. of History, Siena College, 515 Loudon Rd., Loudonville, NY 12211-1462, 518- 783-2595, fax 518-783-4293.

On 4-5 June 1997, the American Astronautical Society will hold its National Space Forum at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. Contact the AAS at 6352 Rolling Mill Place, Ste 102, Springfield VA 22152-2354, 703-866-0020, fax x3526.

On 5-7 June 1997, Miami University will host an interdisciplinary conference on the cultural impact of science and technology. For more information, please contact Robert Johnson or Alice Adams, Summer Institute, Department of English, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, 513-529-5221,

On 25-27 June 1997, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of Thomas A. Edison's birth, the National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site; the Organization of American Historians and the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance will sponsor a conference, "Interpreting Edison." This conference will examine Edison's impact on innovation, manufacturing, business, and popular culture. For more information, contact Leonard DeGraaf, Edison National Historic Site, Main Street and Lakeside Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052, telephone 201-736-0550, x22, e-mail:

On 8-10 August 1997, the Pacific Coast branch of the American Historical Association will hold its 90th annual meeting in Portland, OR. For more information please contact Nancy Fitch, History Department, California State University, P.O. Box 34080, Fullerton, CA 92834-9480; fax 714-773-2101 or Carole Srole, History Department, California State University, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032-8223; fax 213-343-6432.

On 23-25 September 1997, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will host its 1997 Defense & Space Programs Conference and Exhibit at the von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, AL. Contact: AIAA, Ste. 500, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20191-4333, 703-264-7500.

On 25-29 September 1997, the annual meeting of the Oral History Association will be held in New Orleans, LA. Contact Rebecca Sharpless, Exec. Sec., Oral History Association, Baylor Univ., Box 97234, Waco, TX 76798-7234.

On 2-5 October 1997, the U.S. Naval Academy's Dept. of History will sponsor the 13th Naval History Symposium at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. Contact: William McBride, Dept. of History, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21402-5044, 410-293-6290, fax 410-293-2256.

On 4-5 October 1997, Princeton University will hold a graduate student conference entitled "Casualties of History: Losers, the Lost, and the Problem of Defeat." The conference is being sponsored by the History Department and the History of Science Program. For more details, please e-mail ghaconf@Princeton.EDU.

On 13-16 October 1997, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will host World Aviation Congress '97 at the Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, CA. Contact the AIAA at Ste. 500, 1801 Alexander Bell Dr., Reston VA 20191-4344, 703-264-7500, fax x7551.

The Society for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting on 16-19 October 1997 in Pasadena, CA. For information contact Dr. Lindy Biggs, Executive Secretary, 334-844-6645, fax 334-844-6673, e-mail, or http://

On 29-31 October 1997, the National Security Agency will hold its 7th annual Symposium on Cryptological History at its headquarters at Ft. George Meade, MD. Contact: Joseph Yankowski, Center for Cryptologic History (S542), NSA, 9800 Savage Rd, Ste. 6886, Ft. George G. Meade MD 20755-6886, 301-688-2336, fax 301-688-2342.

On 31 October-2 November 1997, the eighth biennial Conference of Historic Aviation Writers will be held at the Midland Holiday Inn Hotel and the Confederate Air Force Museum, Midland TX. For details, contact Robin Higham, Sunflower University Press, 131 Yuma (Box 1009), Manhattan, KS 66502-4228, 913-539-1888, fax 913-539-2233.


Beon, Yves. Planet Dora: A Memoir of the Holocaust and the Birth of the Space Age. Michael J. Neufeld. Editor. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997.

Bizony, Piers. The Rivers of Mars: Searching for the Cosmic Origins of Life. London: Aurum Press, 1997.

Dauber, Philip M., and Muller, Richard A. The Three Big Bangs: Comet Crashes, Exploding Stars, and the Creation of the Universe. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Helix Books, 1997.

Dierikx, Marc. Fokker: A Transatlantic Biography. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997. Smithsonian History of Aviation Book Series.

Dyson, George B. Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., Helix Books, 1997.

Guth, Alan H. The inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., Helix Books, 1997.

Harford, James J. Korolev. New York: John Wiley, 1997.

Heppenheimer, T.A. Countdown. New York: John Wiley, 1997.

Hoban, Francis T. Where Do You Go After You've Been to the Moon? A Case Study of NASA's Pioneering Effort at Change. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Co., 1997.

Hunley, J.D. Editor. History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the Twenty-fourth History Symposia of the International Academy of Astronautics. San Diego: Univelt, Inc., 1997. AAS History Series.

Hunley, J.D. Editor. History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth History Symposia of the International Academy of Astronautics. San Diego: Univelt, Inc., 1997. AAS History Series.

Myers, Franklin S. Apollo Support. Bethel, CT: Rutledge Books, 1997. Novel of Project Apollo.

Owen, Kenneth. Concorde and the Americans: International Politics of the Supersonic Transport. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997. Smithsonian History of Aviation Book Series.

Von Benke, Matthew J. The Politics of Space: A History of U.S.Soviet/Russian Competition and Cooperation in Space. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997.

Wright, Bill. Rearwin: A Story of Men, Planes, and Aircraft Manufacturing During the Great Depression. Manhattan, KS: Sunflower University Press, 1997.

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More questions about NASA History? Please check out our NASA History Home Page at The general public is also invited to come to our office in person to do research. For further information, please contact our office at 202-358-0384, fax 202-358-2866. E-mail Roger D. Launius at or Steve Garber at We also welcome comments about the content and format of this newsletter.