Computers in Spaceflight: The NASA Experience



[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.

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