Thinking About NASA History
The NASA History Program was started shortly after
the Agency itself was established over forty years ago. The NASA
History Office serves two key functions: widely disseminating
aerospace information and helping NASA managers to understand
and learn from past successes and failures. Thus, we have both
internal and external audiences.
In addition to being part of the wider NASA community,
the NASA History Office also interacts extensively with the professional
historian community. Because of the technical nature of NASA’s
work, we also work closely with our peers in the history of science
and technology fields.
The work of these specialists tends to overlap
with those who are involved in the field of history of science
and technology (S&T) or the science and technology studies
(STS) interdisciplinary field. While STS sometimes goes by different
names, it typically includes the components of history, sociology,
and philosophy of science and technology. STS is basically a social
science approach to thinking about natural science and engineering.
One of our main products is the NASA History Series
of publications. These are usually analytical but not highly technical
and thus should be accessible to lay audiences. Our publications
are also designed to serve as background information for present-day
The materials in this folder are designed to familiarize
scientists and engineers with how NASA History Office publications
are researched, written, and produced. This folder is also meant
to familiarize nonhistorians with the craft of history by providing
some models of good history and thought patterns of good historians.
Historians who are unfamiliar with aerospace history may also
be interested in these materials.
We hope you find these materials useful and encourage
your comments and questions. Thank you for your interest in NASA
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